Change is afoot as the best-selling Dykes to Watch Out For series moves to Alyson. Alison Bechdel continues to illuminate the way we live through the comic strip serial that has become a national treasure. In the tenth book in the series, Mo, the curmudgeonly women’s bookstore clerk, blithely rants about Dr. Laura, Donald Rumsfeld, gay Enron execs, and the pernicious effects of Frogger, while her cozy counterculture community is shifting beneath her feet. Her job is in jeopardy as Madwimmin Books’s customer base defects to the chains. Her ex, Clarice, is displaying symptoms of soccer mom-itis. Her best friend, Lois, has announced her new name is Louis. And her old pal Sparrow considers whether having a baby with her boyfriend will compromise her identity as a radical lesbian feminist. Meanwhile, Toni doesn’t know what do when Clarice’s George W. Bush-induced depression lasts long after the inauguration and, in the wake of 9-11, her friends square off on questions of idealism, violence, compassion, patriotism, and dissent. As they hash out their ideological differences, a black-and-white world takes on surprisingly variegated shades of gray.
Alison Bechdel is the author of nine previous Dykes to Watch Out For books, three of which have been Lambda Literary Award winners, as was also her autobiography, The Indelible Alison Bechdel. She lives in Vermont.
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Alison Bechdel has been writing and illustrating "Dykes to Watch Out For" since 1982. Her books have won multiple awards, and she was most recently a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award and two Eisner awards. She lives in Vermont and is working on a grapFrom Publishers Weekly:
That sprawling crew of feisty counter- and not-so-counter-culturalists are back in a 20th-anniversary collection of Bechdel's popular lesbian-themed strip. Devoted readers may be happy to find some things never change: Mo is still a social malcontent, and her colleague, Lois, is as rebellious as ever. (This time, she's tweaking Mo by pretending to consider becoming a man.) The bookstore where they work has its usual financial difficulties, and everyone still hates the president. But not all is as it once was. For one thing, same-sex marriages (well, unions) are now legal in Vermont, and one couple, Clarice and Toni, consider whether to make their relationship official in the state's eyes. Then there's Sparrow: a long-time member of the group house where Lois lives, who has fallen in love with another housemate-a man-and seems to be unexpectedly pregnant. And Ginger, an academic, is facing the purgatory of a non-tenured position at an undistinguished school; buried under papers to grade, she barely even notices when a lovely waitress at a local juice bar makes a move. While first-time readers may lack the back story that's developed over the past two decades with these and several other characters, Bechdel is a master of interwoven plot lines, and she sprinkles helpful summaries through the panels so new readers can tell where they are in the tale. An introduction covering highlights of the past 20 years illustrates how far Bechdel has come; from impressionistic sketches to work that is rich, funny, deep and impossible to put down.
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