‘Trauma can make truth hard to find.’ – Look Again: A Memoir by Elizabeth A. Trembley
Trauma dominates Elizabeth A. Trembley’s graphic memoir, Look Again. She talks about the impact trauma has on your experiences, to the effect that what you swear is the truth may not be what actually happened.
While walking her dogs in the woods years ago, Elizabeth found a dead body. That traumatic, grief-stricken moment of utter confusion overwhelmed her so much that what she looked back at that time all she remembered was shattered images flashing through her mind. In an effort to process, Elizabeth relays, in this graphic memoir, six variations of that same event. Each variation changed when seen through different lenses at different points in her life. She acknowledges that her route to track down the truth was convoluted, much like what other trauma survivors experience in their lives.
This graphic memoir was very well written, smart, enlightening, while also managing to be funny and relatable. Readers are able to walk with Elizabeth through her life as she works through what happened that morning in the woods. How Elizabeth chooses to deal with her trauma is clearly reflected in her words and drawings. Readers see when she is finally able to examine why she behaved the way she did – in a sense, readers grow along with her as the story evolves.
This book shook me, as it had me thinking about events in my past and how my memories may be skewed. Her research into trauma was enlightening. Seeing how she was able to find some answers in her research, as well as how learning more opened up her mind, really impacted and made me want to do more research of my own. At the end of her book, the author has a list of selected resources that helped her learn about her experiences (I’ve already snagged a few to read myself!).