‘Shortcomings’ stands tall


Adrian Tomine’s graphic novel, “Shortcomings” is generating a lot of buzz these days.

The New York Times gave the book a thumbs up, and it’s getting acclaim everywhere. My colleague Randy Myers writes about the San Francisco Bay Area locales Tomine uses in Shortcomings.” If you’re in the Bay Area, Tomine is doing readings there this week. Also, find out what Tomine’s favorite comic books are in Issue 13 of Hyphen, coming out soon.

The protagonist in “Shortcomings,” Ben Tanaka, was refreshing for me because there seems to be so many more female lead characters in works of fiction about Asian Americans. Am I wrong about this? Whenever I’m in a bookstore looking at the Asian or Asian American books, there just seems to be Amy Tan knockoffs every where.

Whatever the gender, “Shortcomings” is a good read. Tanaka is flawed, infuriating and so real. Tomine smartly conveys observations about relationships and race in the book. All the accolades Shortcomings has received are well deserved.

This post can also be found on Hyphen magazine’s blog.

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