Jan 22

“Calling Dr. Laura” by Nicole Georges

In the brand new graphic memoir Calling Dr. Laura, author Nicole Georges finds out at the age of 23 that the father she thought was dead is actually alive. She calls well-known advisor Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

Although her title immediately drew me in, it also raised some fear: Does Dr. Laura, widely viewed as a foe of progressive ideology, figure too prominently in this young author’s book?

I mean, she’s right there. In the title. Calling Dr. Laura.

No need to worry, though. It turns out the title refers only to a cameo appearance.

Interestingly, therapy is involved in the author’s process of dealing with her troubling family dynamics. Furthermore, from the publisher’s book description: “Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source. Part coming-of-age and part coming-out story, Calling Dr. Laura marks the arrival of an exciting and winning new voice in graphic literature.”

Her father’s existence isn’t the only secret, you see. Another belongs to Georges, who too has been lying, though this is about her sexuality.

In the trailer below, the author explains, among other things, why she chose Dr. Laura when she needed some special help:

Selected Reviews of Calling Dr. Laura

Carmen Gimenez Smith, NPR: “Although Calling Dr. Laura might not mine the depths of family history as deeply as a conventional memoir, it’s a beautiful and innovative portrait of a young adult who’s moving away from old family stories toward creating new ones of her own.”

From another graphic memoirist, Alison Bechdel: “Nicole Georges spins a riveting family mystery. There’s a powerful chemistry going on between her delicate drawings and the probing honesty of her investigations. ‘Calling Dr. Laura’ is disarming and haunting, hip and sweet, all at once.”

Author Eileen Myles: “Nicole J. Georges’ graphic memoir is simply an epic for our time. Anyone with a family, who loves dogs, who needs advice and wants to understand the inner workings of a complex and magical female artist must read ‘Calling Dr. Laura.’ I couldn’t put this memoir down for a couple of long great evenings, and I’m still shaken by her animating, wide and searching squares.”