book review: Seek You by Kristen Radtke | BookBrowse

SEEK YOU by Kristen Radtke
Pantheon Books, 2021

In the first pages of Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, Kristen Radtke’s sophomore work, she explains that radio operators call out across frequencies with what is known as a “CQ call,” named as such because “CQ” sounds like the first syllable of sécurité, or “pay attention,” in French. In English, radio users took to calling it “seek you.” In this graphic work of nonfiction, Kristen Radtke explores this concept of reaching outward, turning the CQ call into a metaphorical representation of 21st century American existence.

With a muted palette of mostly blues, greens and oranges, Radtke illustrates a series of graphic essays, each devoted to a different sociological study or phenomenon or observation on loneliness.

You can read my full review HERE on BookBrowse and you can read a piece I wrote about graphic works of nonfiction HERE.

2 thoughts on “book review: Seek You by Kristen Radtke | BookBrowse

  1. I’m curious if BookBrowse has reviewed many graphic novels before. I did a summary of this one for Bookmarks magazine and learned that it was only our second graphic novel review, after Fun Home. It’s interesting to see which ones go mainstream and which remain cult classics. I’m still not comfortable with the term “graphic memoir” as it seems to suggest highly violent or sexual content! It seems to be accepted vocabulary, though. Have you read The Lonely City by Olivia Laing? Similar mood and highly recommended. Another recent graphic novel this reminded me of is In by Will McPhail, which was fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, interesting!! BookBrowse had already done two articles related to graphic novels before mine so I assumed they had a long history of reviewing graphic novels, but I did a quick search just now and it does not appear that there are too many. (Plus no “graphic novel” category.)

      Ohh that’s so funny re “graphic memoir,” that interpretation has never entered my mind but that makes sense!

      I haven’t read The Lonely City (on my radar) or In (never heard of it) but I’ll check those out!


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