Rose Recommends: February | The Infinite Wait

Hello! It’s time for a recommendation. This month I’m going with a graphic memoir: The Infinite Wait and Other Stories by Julia Wertz.

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I like to feature books that aren’t very well known for my monthly recommendations, and this definitely fits that description. It currently has 687 Goodreads ratings.

I was actually required to read this book for a college class on American Lit. It was a survey course, and the professor included this book as one of the post-modern texts towards the end of the semester. Main reason: he was a friend of the author. This particular professor wasn’t even technically a professor – he was a guest lecturer – and his specialty was actually creative writing. He was young and hip and clearly wanted to expose us to edgy works while promoting his friend…and I’m very glad he did.

This book is a collection of 3 graphic short stories/novellas that are memoir-like in nature. This was actually the very first graphic memoir I read, and it opened that door for me at a time when graphic novels were beginning to emerge bigger and more popular than ever. It was great timing. I’ve now read several other graphic novels and have become very interested in the genre. I enjoyed this particular book so much because of its sarcastic, self-deprecating voice. After reading it, you truly feel like you know and understand the author. At least I did – some people might be put off by her cynicism, but I ate it up. It made me laugh out loud many times, but it also made me feel for her. One of the stories goes into detail about an incurable auto-immune disease she suffers from, and she manages to make it both hilarious and heartbreaking, all the while never letting the disease be the defining factor of her book/life. Another one of the stories is about her hometown library, which I loved because I love stories about books/libraries/reading/etc.

I had a nice surprise last month at Barnes & Noble when I saw a Julia Wertz book featured on a graphic novel shelf, cover facing out! It made me happy because I had previously thought no one had heard of Julia Wertz, but as it turns out, the book I saw, called Drinking at the Movies, is a bigger deal than I thought. After looking it up, I realized that Drinking at the Movies was published before The Infinite Wait. That made me wonder why so few people have read The Infinite Wait. I of course now plan to read Going to the Movies, which is apparently a full-length memoir. I am curious about the difference between her short-story-memoir-collection and the full-length one, but I have no doubt I will enjoy it.

I can’t yet say which one you should read first (my guess is probably Drinking at the Movies), but you should definitely check out Julia Wertz if you like graphic memoirs or want to start reading them! Fans of Alison Bechdel (Fun HomeAre You My Mother?) will most likely enjoy Julia Wertz.

 Genre:

Graphic novel/short story collection/memoir

Pages

228

For those who like:

  • Self-deprecating humor
  • Cynical narrators
  • Graphic novels!

Things people may not like:

  • Self-deprecating humor
  • Cynical narrators
  • Graphic novels!
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