Sunday, December 31, 2017

One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

We shall tell all the stories that are never told. Stories about bad husbands and murderous wives and mad gods and mothers and heroes and darkness and friends and sisters and lovers...
Yes! And above all...stories about brave women who don't take shit from anyone
In a reimagining of Scheherazade's 1001 nights, Greenberg gives us Hero, who tells a hundred nights' worth of stories to keep her lover, Cherry, safe from a gentlemen's bet. The stories are packed full of brave, independent women. Women who read and write and tell stories to stay alive. The stories are about love and loss and all the varied meanings of sisterhood.

This was a really beautiful companion to Fahrenheit 451. I didn't intend to pair the two, but this gives a whole new dimension to the power of stories. Women are largely absent from Bradbury's novel, but here women are the bearers of history. Despite being trapped in a patriarchal hierarchy designed (or re-designed...their world was initially built by a god's daughter and then re-vamped by the god when he grows bored) by a vengeful god, these women push to break through. They aren't always successful--in fact, they often fail--but they rally around each other and build each other up in ways that are rare in literature and in life.

Greenberg's drawings are whimsical and angular, and her women float through the panels as though defying gravity. As happens too often with me and graphic novels, I breezed through this. Her written style is engaging and funny, and the stories moved quickly which made it easy to skip over the images. I want to go back and read it again!

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