Published March 20, 2022

Courtney Cook (The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures and Pieces) and Laura Gao (Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American) explore how growing up and living life is hard enough, let alone with the added spotlight of a pandemic or the effects of borderline personality disorder. These graphic memoirs are at once incredibly unique and universally accessible in their examination of how individuals make sense of the world and themselves. In conversation with Laura Lee Gulledge.

Watch the video from this event:

Thanks to our bookseller for this event, Book No Further.

“Candid and endearing… In addition to a moving personal story, Cook provides a funny, heartfelt guide to borderline personality disorder and a distillation of adolescent tortures many readers will recognize. A poignant debut from a promising writer and illustrator.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“In this fresh, frank, and tender debut, author-illustrator Gao offers a compellingly layered graphic memoir… A multidimensional, thoroughly entertaining account of growing into queer Asian American identity.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review


Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


We appreciate the support of our community partners for helping share information about this event: Dairy Market and the UVA LGBT Committee for Faculty and Staff

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