Thursday, July 8, 2021

On the Coffee Table: Miriam Katin

Title: Letting It Go
Writer and Artist: Miriam Katin

via Amazon

Letting It Go is an autobiographical graphic novel, the author's second.  Miriam and her husband live in New York.  Their adult son Ilan has decided to settle in Berlin, much to Miriam's dismay.  She is a Holocaust survivor and therefore has understandable anxieties regarding Germany and Germans.  Over the course of the book, she and her husband visit Berlin twice and we get a ringside seat as she reconciles the new, repentant Germany with the horrors of the past.

Obviously, the story gets heavy at times but not actually as much as one might expect.  It's hopeful by the end.  Katin's artwork is lovely, colored crayon her chosen medium, allowing a certain softness in the images.  Very human.

I'm definitely interested in her previous book, We Are on Our Own, the story of her mother's and her experiences during World War II.


  1. It sounds interesting. Although I'm not into graphic novels, I might give this one a try.


    1. You might try Art Spiegelman's Maus books first. They're the standard by which Holocaust graphic novels are judged - indeed the initial inspiration for Katin's books.

  2. ...the new, repentant Germany with the horrors of the past.

    While the United States hasn't fallen into a Nazi abyss, yet. All it takes to scare the crap out of me is to listen to one of the many blowhards on Fox or read conservative comments on Reddit. We're talking stuff that sends chills down my spine and me wondering what it would take to get the hell out of this country.

    That being said, I often wonder what a repentant America would look and act like if the nightmare become a reality.
    More realistically, I wonder what a repentant republican party would look like and could that ever happen?

    1. And the truth is, we already have plenty to repent for and I suppose that's ultimately what the current cultural battle over Critical Race Theory is really all about. The country we know as the United States of America was built on the back of not one but two genocides - thorough and effective ones - on two different continents. The fall out from both is brutal and ongoing.