Lynda Barry
Guy Lochhead, 18/03/13
American cartoonist, writer and teacher. She is perhaps best known for ‘Ernie Pook’s Comeek’, and for her “illustrated novels”, ‘The Good Times Are Killing Me’ and ‘Cruddy’. She lives on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin and campaigns against wind farms. She also runs writing workshops titled ‘Writing The Unthinkable’, in which she encourages people to value their creativity with exercises drawn from her own education and Zen practices, many of which are about connecting the body and mind, and reclaiming the act of writing from automation and computing. Writing out Barry in objective terms, as above, doesn’t do her work justice. She is all about feeling, truth, beauty, honesty, humour, empowerment… She writes so incisively yet kindly about every kind of relationship, and childhood. A pretty unique thing about her is that she also wants to share that sort of perspective and approach to living with other people, without reducing it to some inane formula. Her writing workshops are so sensible, and so much more valuable than most creative writing workshops… I will include her books about writing – ‘What It Is’ and ‘Picture This’, in which she tries to explain writing by wrapping it in all its mystical contexts, not by stripping and reducing it.

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