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CRUSHING by Sophie Burrows


by Sophie Burrows ; illustrated by Sophie Burrows

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-64375-239-6
Publisher: Algonquin

This quiet, wordless book is artist and author Burrows’ graphic-novel debut.

A young woman, pale and rosy-cheeked with a straight black bob, lives alone in London—except for her cat—surrounded by lovers on Hampstead Heath and crowds on the Tube. One night she runs down to the local kebab and pizza shop in her pajamas and encounters a young man, pale and freckled with floppy red hair, also wearing pajamas. Unfortunately, they don’t notice each other surreptitiously noticing each other and head their separate ways, the young man returning to his flat—empty except for his dog and the glare of his laptop screen. The young woman tries a dating app, and a man sends her unsolicited, intimate selfies; the young man gets spattered in bird poop while working a temp job dressed as an avocado. The story conveys life as a series of small indignities, slight misses, and minor connections but ends on a hopeful note. The accomplished pencil drawings with red highlights are eloquent and emotive, drawing readers in, conveying the personalities of the characters, and capturing the poignancy, dignity, drama, and humor of the everyday. The backmatter includes mental health organizations and crisis lines and a note from Burrows referencing inspiration from missed connections columns and pandemic isolation.

Evocatively sketches a fine line between someday and happily-ever-after.

(Graphic fiction. 15-adult)