by Tahneer Oksman
Reviews Editor, Graphic Narratives
In Amy Victoria Blakemore’s review of Audrey Niffenegger’s Raven Girl, she writes, “reading Raven Girl is a lot like falling in love: for a brief moment, we are compelled to forget our skepticism.” Niffenegger is no stranger to relying on her readers’ abilities to hold their questions, to just go with her plot choices. In her debut novel, the bestselling The Time Traveler’s Wife, audiences had to accept that a characters’ ability to travel through time, unpredictably, stemmed from a genetic disorder.
Against all odds, a novel that defied conventions of genre (is it romance? science fiction? – the enigmatic front cover of the first edition certainly doesn’t answer the question) won widespread critical acclaim and was even adapted into a Hollywood film starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.
Niffenegger’s immense talents are similarly difficult to classify. She recently collaborated with choreographer Wayne McGregor to turn Raven Girl the graphic novel into a 72-minute Royal Ballet performance. And, as though she didn’t have enough premier parties to attend to, The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC is currently showcasing a retrospective of her visual art (this, while Printworks Gallery in Chicago is exhibiting selected aquatints from Raven Girl). The 120-page catalog of the retrospective exhibition, Awake in the Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger, has recently been published by PowerHouse Books.
So look for Niffenegger’s works in fiction, or graphic novels, or visual arts, or dance, or film. Her gifts apparently translate.
For more on Niffenegger’s impressive itinerary, visit:
- Audrey Niffenegger – Raven Girl Artwork (goldfinchgallery.wordpress.com)
- The Beauty and the Horror of the Body: Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger (tor.com)
- The making of Raven Girl: caw de ballet (telegraph.co.uk)