March 28th, 2017
This book, which is made up of portions from selected zines that Pérez created from 1994-2014, was a pleasing read to immerse myself in over the course of several commutes and evenings. I don’t think that I’ve read a single-author zine anthology before and there’s definitely something satisfying about it, in terms of being able to get a feel for someone’s style and voice. In her intro, Pérez writes about “document, as noun and as verb”: she’s concerned with documenting her life and also with the zine-as-document and also with various kinds of documents she interacts with (like books and family photos) (11). She also says this by way of introduction, which resonated with me a whole lot: “This is what I look for in stories, in people, in the world, in life and what I hope to convey in my own writing: humor, wonder, simplicity, magic, history, a sense of connection however small” (12).
There are so many good bits in here: lists of things Pérez likes that feel both very specific/personal and very relatable, writing about family and loss and difficult familial relationships and family histories known or unknown, writing about race and culture and representation and other-ness and sameness, diary-like entries about people-watching on public transit, or about the little details of books and meals and the rhythms of days, drawings of household objects, a great mini-zine Pérez made for her 40th birthday, notes from a trip to Oaxaca, and more. And I love that there are end-notes, some of which are for clarification but others of which are Pérez commenting, amusedly/amusingly, on her past self.