"Imagine having a job like mine where you sit around all day and think about dirt bombs!," commented Lynda Barry in the San Jose Mercury News. In such writings as her "Ernie Pook" comic strip and the novel-turned-play, The Good Times Are Killing Me, Barry ranges over the whole comic/tragic experience of growing up, from dirt bombs to divorced parents to the strains that pull friendships apart. The lives of young people, Barry suggests, offer major insights about life in general.
While many adults prefer to remember their youth as a "simpler" time, Barry grew up knowing that life is complicated. She was born in a small Wisconsin town into a multicultural family, the daughter of a Filipino mother and a Norwegian-Irish father. Her mother soon felt out of place in the Midwest, so the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where her father felt out of place, surrounded by Filipino in-laws who could not speak English. Though Barry inherited her father's European looks--"Norwegian blood," she told the Chicago Sun-Times, "can suck the color out of anything"--she was received as a fellow Filipino by her mother's relatives, who talked to her routinely about "white" people. "I never felt completely Filipino and I never felt completely white," she told an interviewer for the San Jose Mercury News. "I felt completely different. I didn't even feel like a girl; I didn't feel like a boy, either. I could not find a peer."
Many works by our Visiting Writers' Series authors are pulled from their normal places on the shelves and temporarily located in a special display in the Browsing Collection. This collection is located near the Information Commons service desk, next to the vending machines and newspapers.
When you look at an item's record in WorldCat Discovery, be sure to note whether the items is in the General Stacks (mostly 2nd floor) or the Browsing Collection (1st floor). If you have any questions about locating an item on the shelf, don't hesitate to ask us!