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French Milk ❮Reading❯ ➳ French Milk ➬ Author Lucy Knisley – A place where young Americans can seek poetic magic in the winding streets of a beautiful city The museums the cafs the parks An artist like Lucy can really enjoy Paris in January If only she can stop A place where young Americans can seek poetic magic in the winding streets of a beautiful city The museums the cafs the parks An artist like Lucy can really enjoy Paris in January If only she can stop griping at her mother This comic journal details a mother and daughters month long stay in a small apartment in the fifth arrondissement Lucy is grappling with the onslaught of adulthood Her mother faces fifty They are both dealing with their shifting relationship All the while they navigate Paris with halting French and dog eared guidebooks.

  • Paperback
  • 188 pages
  • French Milk
  • Lucy Knisley
  • English
  • 10 September 2014
  • 9780978942755

About the Author: Lucy Knisley

School of the Art Institute of Chicago currently pursuing an MFA at the.

10 thoughts on “French Milk

  1. Mary Elizabeth Mary Elizabeth says:

    I suppose I was expecting something substantive when I picked up this book What I found instead was a collection of drawings and photos of what Knisley ate and bought while living in Paris for 6 weeks with her mother And she ate and bought a lot I'm pretty sure that if I could I would too The thing is that doesn't make for a gripping or even an intriguing read The comic became an inventory of consumption and anecdotes This was all the frustrating given her projected scope for the book On the first page she wrote a sort of mini intro regarding how the title relates to her work Her FRENCH MILK aims to get a deeper understanding of how the French appreciate life even to the smallest details like dairy and how that affects her the artist She also wanted to delve into the changing relationship between her and her mother Do you end up getting any of that? No not really Occasionally there was an attempt at showing an event but those attempts were of seemingly trivial events and then abbreviated at best So I was confused with the disparity between what the book wanted to be and what it was as well A better choice if you're looking for a travel memoir in the form of graphic novel is CARNET DU VOYAGE by Craig Thompson In it the artist visits friends in a few European countries as well as Morocco The whole shebang is lyrical and cohesive Or perhaps even A YEAR IN JAPAN by Kate T Williamson Williamson's book really is a collection of Japanese vignettes through the eyes of a young American but with thoughtful prose

  2. PorshaJo PorshaJo says:

    I knew of Lucy Knisley's work for years but avoided it due to it being a 'graphic novel' I finally dove in with her book Relish My Life in the Kitchen as I needed a food pickme up I found the graphic novel part was uite interesting so I wanted to read of her works French Milk is a diary tale of her trip to Paris with her mother They rented an apartment and spent five weeks walking around seeing the sites eating lots of food in the city of lights When I say this is her diary talethat's it The book is part graphic drawings and part photos that she took on her trip It's a book that she can pick up in years and remember what she did on her trip I keep travel journals but they are probably a bit detailed and have no drawings I guess I would have liked a bit than just tid bits from her trip It just did not seem that cohesive to me But it's a travel journal in graphic formThis book was all black and white drawings Sometimes the print was so small as if it was just a photo copy of her actual travel journal notes I have reading glasses but man there were times I really had to work at it I missed the wonderful color drawing that she did in Relish which is a newer book I enjoyed reading about the various places in Paris that she visited Made me think of trips that I made to Paris and recall them fondly I have another of Kinsley's books ready to read and will give it a shot at some point I liked this one but could have had

  3. Angi Angi says:

    Eat Shop Complain Eat La fin

  4. Courtney Williams Courtney Williams says:

    Book 1452 for 2012 review cross posted to my blogI've tried to like Lucy Knisley's work; really I have My main issue has always been that while she often states that she's going to explore an concept and make meaningful observations she rarely delivers For example her Kickstarter funded Here at Hogwarts comic promised to be about our experience going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park and how Harry Potter as a cultural phenomenon has shaped fan society BritishAmerican consumerism literature and our own lives but turned out to be of a then I did this then I did that oh and we discussed this important issue but I'm just going to mention the fact we did and not give any details YAY BUYING STUFF affair I know it's a travelogue not an academic paper but a little substance particularly if it's a promise you exchanged for seven thousand dollars' worth of pre orders that paid for a glorified holiday never goes amissSadly French Milk doesn't depart from this disappointing pattern It's a travelogue of Knisley's month in Paris with her mother a joint twenty secondfiftieth birthday present predominantly focusing on the food she ate While the back cover promises a great exploration of the motherdaughter relationship the challenges of young adulthood and French culture the reality is far shallow and actually uite distasteful at points I do wonder if some of the reviewers only read the cheesy pun unintended final page which makes the rest out to be far than what it isThe book started annoying me on the very first page with this gem I started smoking to prepare for smoky Parisian cafés Maybe this is the bitterness of an asthmatic who's had one too many trips into town spoiled by people blowing cigarette smoke in her face speaking but it made me take an instant dislike to her You can take up smoking but you can't take a basic French course?She then goes from complaining about being too poor to afford a Vespa to showing off her Christmas presents including a new DSLR camera a little present emphasis mine because of the holiday What planet was she living on? I understand that if you can afford these things then there's no reason you shouldn't but it makes me so angry when rich people fail to acknowledge their privilege are oblivious to it or even worse pretend that it doesn't exist or that their successes are nothing to do with being lucky I know enough people like that in real life thanksI make an effort not to dismiss anyone's troubles as whining since I know depression can manifest itself as such but it's hard not to in this book's case Reading about the execution of Saddam Hussein she comments the world news is too harsh in its stark intrusion on our Parisian holiday then says some especially nice cookies mean humanity has been redeemed Curious how that works when a free all expenses paid holiday to Paris didn't make her stop whining about wanting to have sex with her boyfriend not fitting into shoes causes a strop and the Moulin Rouge not living up to her expectations made her depressed I hate when that word is trivialised by people who think their non problems are comparable to serious mental illnessHer air of superiority is pretty obnoxious too whether she's looking down on the idiots at my school or being shocked by how ugly and huge Americans can be She seems to put herself in a category above mere tourists which is odd considering how she doesn't really explore beyond the tourist attractions interact with Parisians or even bother to learn French This is illustrated by an encounter with a group of American students leads her to wrinkle her nose at their Pringles Oreos and Seventeen magazines their talking loudly and their conversation full of 'likes' because students living abroad should never enjoy home comforts or talk Even worse is an incident on the plane home Knisley and her mother were asked to stop watching a DVD without headphones because people were trying to sleep and responded by having a conversation loud enough to be annoying She actually says take that 'other passengers' Interesting how it was distasteful when those American students were doing the same in a much less rude fashion Also if interviews with her are anything to go by she isn't innocent of crimes against likeI'm only a little younger than Knisley was when she took her trip so any excuses regarding her age don't fly by me It has been said that I'm a bit too mature for my age but I do think Knisley was especially immature for hers She mentioned watching Arrested Development a few times which is nothing if not apt Treating youth as a get out of jail free card with regards to published works is something that irritates me anyway if a book is published it should be held to the same standards regardless of the author's age Age especially shouldn't be cited to absolve a grown woman of her responsibility to not act like a bratThere were a few other examples of her immaturity Her weak defence of eating foie gras along the lines of being force fed to death is a relatively pleasant way to go irritated me uite a bit If you're going to do something that's morally uestionable at least own that decision without attempting to spin it into kindness via inaccuracies Poor logic is another pet hate of mine She mentions her favourite painting Courbet's very NSFW L'Origine du monde but doesn't give any reasons why she likes it beyond a tee hee she even looks for it in the wrong museum at first For all her posturing about Oscar Wilde being a huge inspiration she doesn't really talk about why she admires him so much she also misuotes Wilde's last words Her shallow response to seeing the film Marie Antoinette contrasts with the disapproving French people sharing the cinema with her it did what I wanted it to do be pretty and fuel my imagination of what it might have been like at Versailles at that time Again this response wasn't explored at all I can instantly see a comparison with her opinions about Paris in general There was very little exploration of the difference between the real Paris and the idealised Americanised version except that is where it could be complained about Most of the book is spent buying stuff which made her angst over money feel disingenuous what happened to being too poor to afford a Vespa?Another thing for saying Knisley has degrees in cartooning she's not especially good at it I only counted one especially nice picture The food pictures in particular are often indistinguishable without a label and her cartoon self looks nothing like her in real life The writing isn't very compelling either It may just be me but I don't think it's a coincidence that my favourite comics artists don't have degrees in any form of art I guess it ties in with my concerns about creative writing courses while the feedback deadlines prompts and connections are obviously valuable it won't turn a mediocre writer into a great one I have first hand experience of this and an aspiring writer may be better served by a course that trains them to think in a way that transcends their own work I can be pretentious tooThere wasn't much to recommend this book At least one huge bonus of this being traditionally published was that it didn't contain uite as many spelling mistakes as Knisley's work usually does I understand some people have difficulty with that but that's why you get a orthographically inclined friend to look over important documents before you put them online or sell them to peopleI spent most of French Milk spotting opportunities for depth and growth and being disappointed when it didn't surface I would have liked some actual exploration of their relationship apparently the book's title is a reference to mother's milk another empty affirmation as well as some examination of her obvious privileges beyond blaming feeling like a spoiled brat on being an only child Even a bit of Paris related musing beyond ooh pretty nom nom nom and not all Frenchmen seem very nice the last being a direct uote would have sufficed It didn't even make me want to crave French food or a trip to Paris I don't really think the book's uality merits the opportunities it was given Knisley's mother being able to publish her book making it easier to pass onto bigger publishing houses not when there are talented cartoonists and story tellers out thereIt must be fun having other people pay for your holidays and then getting paid to document them actually I can vouch for that having received £100 for an article on my EUCYS prize trip to CERN but it does not necessarily a good book make particularly when the author has some serious growing up to do Knisley's Twitter feed tells me she's just returned from a trip to Tanzania and is working on a travelogue she's also currently in South Korea and went on a cruise earlier this year I hope to goodness she's done a better job of it this time and has gained a little self awareness in the years since French Milk was created This is one diary that would have benefited from staying locked

  5. HeavyReader HeavyReader says:

    This comic tells the story of a young woman in her early 20s who spends a month in Paris with her mother There wasn't really a plot to the story; this was the journal and sketch book of her day to day life I liked that I liked getting a glimpse of what this woman did in Paris where she went what she ateI was a bit bugged by money The authorartist mentions several times that she is worried about her finances can't afford to buy things yet does manage to buy things and is spending a month in Paris for goodness sake My guess is that her parents are picking up the tab but how do they afford it? She also mentions just getting little presents from her parents for Christmas because the trip is a big deal which also leads me to believe that her folks are footing the bill However one of the little presents she gets is a brand new digital camera Not a little present at all where I come fromAh class issues They can't be escaped even in comic books

  6. Ciara Ciara says:

    for some reason i was really obsessed with finding this book reading it even though i am not a huge fan of graphic books or books where spoiled 22 year olds go to paris spend half their time there crying because they miss their boyfriends or are worried about their finances i think i liked the idea of the book than i liked the execution even though i knew on some level that of course the idea was bound to be better than the execution but i put a hold on it at the library anyway when i finally sat down to read it i blazed through in an hour or twothe whole thing is about six weeks that lucy spends living in paris with her mom they are staying in a little apartment where they share a bed they spend all day strolling around paris eating lots of food going to art museums shopping honestly it doesn't sound like a bad way to spend six weeks i gather from context that the trip is an xmas gift from her parents to lucy that maybe her mom is thinking of getting an apartment in paris living there part time so you can discern that these people are loaded not a bad gig if you can get it i guess but i definitely failed to relate which probably sucked some of the pleasure out of the book for me lucy turns 22 while she is in paris spends all day moping about being old HA HA HA all 22 year olds thing they are old just a few years later they are horrified embarrassed that they ever thought such a thing but that knowledge failed to make lucy's angst any tolerable she also kept dropping little asides about all her great france related literary loves such as oscar wilde anais nin david sedaris oh yes how very obscure she must be the most sophisticated 22 year old art student the world has ever seen to be aware of these luminary lights of the literary establishment oh wait these are the same peeps that every slack jawed 22 year old art student with pretensions of relevancy idolize i am always so embarrassed for people when they make a big fuss about their obscure interests it turns out that their interests are neither obscure nor interesting moving onprobably my greatest disappointment is that the art didn't even do much for me it was very derivative of lynda barry tintin with an occasional splash of julie doucet but not any of the doucet trademarks that actually make julie doucet's work interesting lucy is a better artist than i am so i'm not going to cast too many stones here but considering that this was a fully illustrated diary documenting a trip to one of the most visually sumptuous cities in the worldi was a little bummed with the end result i will admit i'm sure she can knock a nice detailed architectural drawing out of the park when she really wants to there were hints of serious talent in here but because it was essentially a diary there was a dashed off thrown together uality to the art that didn't do much for me oh also the book opens with this whole song dance about how lucy wants to explore the manner in which the french appreciate life she wants to explore her changing relationship with her momwas that an intro for a different book? because neither of those things happens here unless maybe she her mom have never shopped together before or something i don't know

  7. Ferdy Ferdy says:

    No strong feelings for this it was average in every way Average drawings average thoughts average everything The food was probably the most interesting part mostly because it was all kinds of disgusting nothing but foie gras and oyster Lucy was meh she wasn't very likeable or engaging all she did was moan about everything despite having lots of great opportunities Also she made Paris seem rather boring

  8. Miss Kitty Miss Kitty says:

    I started out alternately hatin' on WTF? Her parents are paying for her to live in Paris for a month? and liking pages after pages of This is what I ate and it was soooo good this book I heard about it from my absolutely favorite young adult literature blog Readingrantsorg so I had high hopes despite my extreme jealousy of her City of Lights living Hrmph The book's cover says something about exploring the relationship between mothers and daughters Well I must have skipped the page that explored said relationship because I missed it I remember one sentence where Lucy says and here I'll paraphrase Isn't it super weird that I feel like an independent adult when I'm alone but when I'm with my ma I regress and become akin to a wee infant? You know I think I would also feel like that if I went to Paris WITH MY MOM and MY MOM PAID FOR MY TRIP Plus despite what I said above about liking the food lists it gets old real fast The book is essentially this stuff over and over and over We got up late and then we went to an art museum and then I drank some milk OMG THE MILK IS SO GOOD IN PARIS and then I ate some foie gras because I totally don't feel guilty about how they treat those geese and then we bought stuff at a market and then we ate foie gras and cornichons and then we went to sleep And Americans are so fat and ugly compared to Parisians The End Lame o And she never tells the reader what a cornichon is nor can you tell from her sparse drawings though her drawing of a woman's large buttocks on the final pages is not sparse it's just plain mean Boooo Thank goodness I checked it out from the library and didn't spend my money

  9. Shira Shira says:

    I was set to give this book two stars it's really not very good it reads like a 16 year old's livejournal in which they post inane lists of the crap they bought and stuff they ate even though the stuff they ate is THE SAME THING EVERY DAY interspersed with drawings of inconsistent uality the humans and places look good but the food looks like disgusting unrecognizable lumps and blurry weirdly framed photos when her boyfriend criticizes her for being a sad sackbeing ungrateful about getting to live in paris for a month she gets mad at him though he is really just trying to give her some perspective she has a couple pointless short lived identity crises about whether she wants to be an artist and the nature of adulthood but even those are kind of just the inane ramblings of a spoiled bratbut here is why I gave the book one star instead on the plane ride home to new york she and her mom watch a dvd with no headphones the flight attendant asks them to stop because it is disturbing other people on the flight they get so mad that they talk really loudly to punish everyone seriously? it is not unreasonable to ask you to WEAR SOME FREAKIN' HEADPHONES in spite of what you have spent your whole life believing the world DOES NOT revolve around you and then like a page later she talks about how americans are all fat and ugly and how that's a culture shock for her they may look a way you don't like but YOU lucy knisley circa age 2223 have an ugly CHARACTER

  10. MB (What she read) MB (What she read) says:

    Basically this is a travel diary in comic format I suspect that the reader's reaction to this book depends on how much YOU identify with Lucy Ie if reading this brings back happy memories of college days and travel and such butterfly like self explorations then you will probably enjoy this On the other hand if your background was much less privileged; then I estimate Lucy will likely come off as annoying whiny and self absorbed In that case this memoir may be grating to you It was to me I'd be interested to see what other readers think about this hypothesis? Feel free to commentIf you enjoy travel memoirs mixed with food may I recommend to you A Homemade Life Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg? It is not a graphic novel She is comparatively young but I think has depth Maybe that is just a conseuence of the format difference? In this book she writes fairly lyrical essays about food life some travel and uite movingly imo about her relationship with her parents And for oldies but still goodies try MFK Fisher or currently Ruth Reichl

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