âCorman produces an exceptional portrayal, deserving of much laudatory praise and acclaim, of immigrant and Jewish life on par with the works of Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman.â
âCorman has an ear for dialogue and a loose, curvilinear brush-line that makes reading her work a pleasure.â
âThe Boston Phoenix
âCaptivating… . A sweetly sad story, illustrating the difficulty of life in the early twentieth century as seen through the eye of a specific subculture… . Corman never shies away from harshness in either her story or her illustrations, but she handles it with grace.Â UnterzakhnÂ is a quick read, but a meaningful one.â
âBaltimore City Paper
âAn incredible book about twin sisters growing up on New Yorkâs Lower East Side in the early twentieth century. Itâs about the experience and struggles of women, the immigrant experience, and itâs just brimming with life… . Wow.â
âUnterzakhnÂ works on multiple levels (one notable one: the art work is fantastic, particularly when Corman infuses any of her female characters with a snarl or a sneer, conveying a lifetime of pent-up emotion in a single panel), and as such, itâs highly recommended.â
âCormanâs caricatures are striking and distinctive, making the exaggerated characters come alive, and she provides a great, detailed view of the times… . She does an excellent job of dropping the reader into this particular time and place. Although a period piece, the underlying concerns, especially those related to a womanâs control of her own body, remain particularly timely.â
âIn the footsteps of Art Spiegelman comes Leela Corman.Â Like the renowned creator ofÂ Maus, she employs the graphic novel form, but rather than address the Holocaust she is addressing the Jewish immigrant experience on the Lower East Side in the early twentieth century.â
âThe Jewish WeekÂ (New York)
âBoth a work of social realism and a fable with a moral.â
âHistorically informed and aesthetically compelling … Heavily inked cartoons beautifully depict period details and the Hester Street gossips as times evolve, and show how the two sistersâ similarities change into stark differences in appearance as they age.Â The text, salted with Yiddish, and the eloquently detailed images meld together to make this a good choice for readers who enjoyed Eleanor WidmerâsÂ Up from Orchard StreetÂ or Hubert and KerascoetâsÂ Miss Donât Touch Me.â
âSet in New Yorkâs Lower East Side in the early twentieth century,Â UnterzakhnÂ follows the lives of two sisters, Fanya and Esther … Corman gracefully traces both young womenâs efforts to maintain control of their bodies in an unpredictable and at times violent world. She steeps her striking black-and-white artwork with period details, particularly in the clothes and the bustling street scenes.Â In a flashback scene set in Russia, especially, she echoes the swirling evocative style of Russian folk art … The story of Fanya and Estherâs struggles is beautifully drawn and hard to forget.â
âLures you in with wittiness and sensuality … then bites you in the tuchus!Â Â UnterzakhnÂ swirls with the energy of AlmodÃ³var and the depth of Dostoyevsky as it follows the fates of two charmingly complicated twin sisters.Â I loved it.â
âCraig Thompson, author ofÂ Habibi
by Leela Corman
on-sale: Â April 3, 2012
print ISBN:Â 978-0-8052-4259-1
eBook ISBN: Â 978-0-8052-1254-9
See Leela on tour in Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, SF:
Unterzakhn Tour Schedule:
Tuesday, April 3âBrooklyn, NY
7:00 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â WORD bookstoreÂ event. 126 Franklin Street.
Wednesday, April 4âBoston, MA
7:00 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Brookline BooksmithÂ event. 279 Harvard St. Brookline.
Thursday, April 5âNYC
6:30 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Tenement TalksÂ event at theÂ Lower East Side Tenement Museum, co-sponsored by theÂ Center for Cultural Judaism. 103 Orchard Street (at Delancey). RSVP requested (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Monday, April 9âPortland, OR
7:30 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Powellâs BooksÂ event. 1005 W. Burnside.
Tuesday, April 10âSeattle, WA
7:00 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Elliott Bay BooksÂ event. 1521 10th Ave.
Wednesday, April 11â San Francisco, CA
5:00 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Comix ExperienceÂ event. 305 Divisadero Street.
Thursday, April 12â San Francisco, CA
7:00 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Cartoon Art Museum of San FranciscoÂ event. 655 Mission Street.
Monday, April 16âGainesville, FL
7:00 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â B&N GainesvilleÂ (store #1972) event. 3910 S.W. Archer Road.
Thursday, April 26âPhiladelphia, PA
7:30 pm âÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Philadelphia Free LibraryÂ event with David Bezmozgis/Free World. 1901 Vine Street Logan Square.
Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29âNYC
MoCCA FestivalÂ book signing.