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marlene lopez

Nadja Spiegelman is the daughter of Maus author Art Spiegelman and New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly. She has written three graphic novels for children, Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework, Zig and Wikki in The Cow and Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure. I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir (Riverhead Books) is her latest book. For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than most mothers, hers—French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly—exerted a force over reality that was both dazzling and daunting. After college, Françoise recounted her turbulent adolescence caught between a volatile mother and a playboy father, one of the first plastic surgeons in France. It had taken an ocean to allow Françoise the distance to become her own person. At about the same age, Nadja moved to Paris determined to get to know the woman her mother had fled.  Her grandmother’s memories contradicted her mother’s at nearly every turn, but beneath them lay a difficult history of her own. Nadja emerged with a deeper understanding of how each generation reshapes the past in order to forge ahead, their narratives both weapon and defense.