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Left: Cover of Lynda Barry's new book, What It Is, ©Lynda Barry (Click on the title link to view the book on Amazon and see inside the book.)
I’m a huge fan of Lynda Barry’s work. I love her style, the unsentimental access to emotion, and her sense of humor. When I saw an ad in the New Yorker for her new book What It Is, I went right out and bought it. Didn’t even look at it in the store—and I wasn’t running late for an appointment or a meeting. I just didn’t have a need to look at it. It was going to be wonderful.
Then I got the book home and my confusion set in. There was no dust jacket, just a dust “strip” over the back cover. It informed me that Salon, Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times Review of Books, and the San Francisco Chronicle all thought the book I had in my hands was brilliant, but their blurbs (excerpts from longer articles) didn’t tell me what the book was.