Wednesday, February 11, 2009

At a Crossroads

Kate T. Willliamson, whom I met while living in Japan, wrote and illustrated At a Crossroads: Between a Rock and My Parents' Placeabout her year in limbo post-college. After living in Japan on a fellowship for a year, Kate returned to her parents place to work on a book. At a Crossroads describes the year when she spent lots of time with her parents, went to Cher and Hall & Oates concerts, attended wedding showers and other family functions. Towards the end she includes a bit about the embarrassment of meeting friends or neighbors and not having the usual accomplishments to share e.g. a great job, a posh apartment, a cool boyfriend.

Her illustrations, watercolors with penned lines, are gentle and detailed.

The book reads quickly and is pleasant enough. This chronicle doesn't describe a year of angst or existential crisis. It seems for the most part this was not a bad way to spend a year. She gets along with her parents and grandparents. She makes connections with neighborhood kids. She hears from an old college crush. Yet she seems distant from all. Maybe that's the key to not having conflict - maintain a safe distance. It really seemed like a fine year, no great highs, but no great lows either. It was interesting that she seemed to worry more about the squirrels she heard in the attic over her bedroom than what her future held. Money was never an issue. She seemed to have it good.

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