FEA Traumatized Son's Graphic Memoir


FE
A Traumatized Son’s
Graphic Memoir


BREN BATACLAN

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Fe: A Traumatized Son's Graphic Memoir is Bren Bataclan’s story about the baffling, complex relationships between immigrant parents and their children. His memoir follows young Bren and his mother, Fe. Before immigrating to the United States in her fifties, she had never needed to work. Everything is different in California once their family is uprooted.
….Fe helps support their family by working customer service jobs with a smile. Yet at home, Bren, the youngest son, lives in continual fear of her random toxic tantrums, volatility, and self-centered, angry narcissism. At other times, the unusual relationship they develop is punctuated by moments of lightness.
….She copes with the stresses of her new life in the U.S. by hoarding: stacking piles of collected belongings around her to create the illusion of a border. She remains within this new country, safe but solitary.
….Bren enjoys their newly-created lives and excels at school. He comes out as a gay man, then meets and ultimately marries his one-true-love, Bob, a white American in Boston, Massachusetts.
….Despite Fe living in California, the distance of 3,000 miles does not loosen their link. When Fe is upset, Bren flies back across the continent at a moment's notice to calm her.
….Bren Bataclan's graphic memoir is the remembrance of a complicated mother from her battle-scarred son. Yet ultimately, his story is a testament to love, in all of its messy, wonderful forms.
….Bren invites us into the intimate life of one family: just one among more than four million Filipinos living in the U.S. These valuable stories need to be told. 

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Praise For FE

“This graphic memoir will make you laugh out loud, interrupting whoever is nearby so you can show them Bataclan’s story to make them laugh, too.  Fe will also break your heart. Whether you are a person with a living mother still in the world, or like Bataclan, remembering your mother through stories, this graphic memoir will crack you open with its honesty, humor, generosity; all its names for love.”

—GRACE TALUSAN
author of 
The Body Papers


“Bren Bataclan's graphic memoir Fe hits on a theme I wish more Filipino writers would tackle: difficult Filipino mothers and their children's unwavering quest to make them happy. Bren's earnest efforts to love his mother--who is prone to irrational tantrums and grudges--while trying to keep his family together is uniquely Filipino, but also highly relatable to anyone who has difficult parents. Fe is a brilliant, sensitive story of a mother and son.” 

— MALAKA GHARIB
I Was Their American Dream


“I loved your book. It was hilarious, heartfelt, and endearing. It had me laughing and on the verge of tears. It was really a beautiful tribute to your wonderful mother.”

— AJ DUNGO
author and illustrator of 
In Waves


With a mom like Bren’s; you have to see it to believe it. Mixing his twin talents in graphic design and comic relief, Bren has visually rendered all the devotion, frustration, and eye-rolling ridiculousness it takes to grow up with an off-kilter mother. I kept turning the pages, waiting to see what stunt Fe was going to pull next.”

— MEREDITH MAY
author of
The Honey Bus
and
Loving Edie


"I was utterly swept up by Bren Bataclan’s memoir, which pulls off a neat artistic trick: after grabbing us with its comedy and its cartoony colors, it then reveals itself as a profound story about the complications of family, immigration, and identity. With winning honesty, the narrative shuttles us through a remarkable range of emotions: affection, pain, anger, loyalty. In the end, there’s more light than darkness, leaving us with a hard-earned hope."

—MICHAEL LOWENTHAL
author of 
Sex with Strangers

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