Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
(Fantagraphics, 2015, 161 pages)
Displacement is Knisley’s most recent graphic novel. In this book she recounts her experiences taking a cruise with her elderly (90+) grandparents. They had booked the cruise through a senior group they were a part of and it was decided that it would be best to have a family member go along to make sure things went smoothly. Knisley volunteered herself, not anticipating just how all-consuming her role as caretaker would be.
Knisley doesn’t sugarcoat anything. This was in no way a vacation for her. She portrays all the stress and frustration that you can imagine would arise when you are responsible for looking after two elderly and infirm individuals. It made me think of Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, but it covered a shorter period of time and didn’t really get as in-depth. Still, it offers an honest portrayal of what aging really looks like, and that can be a hard thing to face.
If you enjoyed Chast’s graphic novel and have an appreciation for graphic memoirs this might be something you’ll appreciate.