Was She Pretty?, By Leanne Shapton
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014.
Friday 10 May 2013
This excavation of the jealousies insecurities that sit on the fringes of some relationships might sound tiresomely voyeuristic but turns out to be captivating stuff.
Shapton, an artist and illustrator, here explores the emotional legacy of relationships, particlarly that of the 'ex', setting pithy texts - "Ben's ex-girlfriend... wore small white shorts year-round" and "Lucy's ex-boyfriend only dated actresses" - alongside elegant drawings.
The results capture the sadness, humour and rage that arises from the complex figure of the 'ex'.
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