As a child, Laurie Sandell spent hours on end drawing cartoons of her dad, an intense Argentinian and former Green Beret. In 2003, she wrote an anonymous article for Esquire about their relationship called My Father, the Fraud. In The Impostor's Daughter, a graphic novel published in 2009, she put cartoons and words together. "I started writing the book in memoir form, but it was too dark, so I turned to the cartoons,'' she said. "It gave it more humor, not so bogged down.'' Sandell spoke by phone from her home in Brooklyn. The Impostor's Daughter was re-released in paperback July 12.
What's on your nightstand?
Stitches by David Small. He's my competition in the Eisner Awards (given for achievement in American comic books). Our category is best reality-based work. He's great, so I'm not expecting to win.
I also am reading Boyhood: Scenes From Provincial Life by J.M. Coetzee. I definitely read a lot of memoirs. I went through a phase of reading everyone out there. This was interesting because it was a memoir written in the third person.
Graphic novels continue to gain popularity, but because cartoons are more of an art form, what do you think of e-readers?
My book is actually available on Kindle, and that is strange. I am a huge book reader. I read voraciously, and I love to hold a book in my hands. In terms of the graphic novel, I do feel it is a piece of art, so I'm not advocating graphic novels in electronic form. But I see where electronic media is going, I get it.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer