Drawing from Memory by Allen Say

Drawing From MemoryI was captivated by this quiet book, told with words, photographs, drawings, and paintings. It is an account of author and illustrator Allen Say’s coming of age as an artist and a young man, as well as a tribute to his teacher, the famous Japanese cartoonist Noro Shinpei.

Growing up in Japan, Allen Say wanted to be a cartoonist from a very young age, despite the disapproval of his father. He was able to begin pursuing this dream in earnest after various circumstances – World War II, his parent’s divorce, a cruel grandmother – resulted in his going to live in a Tokyo studio apartment alone at the age of 13. This independence allowed Say to draw as much as he liked, and facilitated his decision to seek out famous cartoonist Noro Shinpei as a teacher. Though separated from his family, Say finds a spiritual and artistic home with his Sensei (teacher) and Sensei’s other pupils.

Drawing from Memory will appeal to young artists, those who love stories told in words and pictures, those who enjoy memoir and history, and to any reader whose imagination might be captured by the story of a 13 year old boy living alone in a big city – free to explore, adventure, and pursue a dream.

Posted by: Parry

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