Booklist | Gordon Flagg | April 3, 2013
Booklist praises Miriam Katin’s “remarkable storytelling”
Katin, a Holocaust survivor who told the harrowing story of her family’s survival in her 2006 graphic memoir, We Are on Our Own, carries an understandable prejudice against all things German; so when her son Ilan announced that he was moving to Berlin to live with his girlfriend there, it set off a visceral, panicked reaction that she recounts in this wise and funny work. With wry self-awareness and sardonic humor, Katin depicts her reluctant, resentful efforts to deal with her son’s decision as she makes a pair of visits to the city, one to visit Ilan and another to attend an art show featuring her comics work (as her ever-patient musician husband observes, “If Barenboim can be there, so can you”). She even learns the German word for her struggle: vergangenheitsbewältigung—coming to terms with the past. Katin eschews the use of panel borders for her gorgeously expressive color-pencil drawings, giving the narrative an irresistible flow. As well-told as it was, much of the power of We Are on Our Own came from its inherently dramatic story; this more nuanced and inward-looking tale is an even greater testament to Katin’s remarkable storytelling abilities.