Ilana Masad

Nadia Owusu has lived many lives.

She's been the privileged child of a UN agency employee, ferried to school and back by chauffeurs while civil wars brewed outside walled compounds guarded by young men, where women called house girls cleaned and cooked for expats.

She's been a world traveler, experiencing life in Tanzania, England, Italy, Ethiopia, Uganda, and finally the United States, all before she turned 20.

She's witnessed and experienced the aftershocks of colonialism in several nations.

Anyone who has ever heard me talk about being a book critic (whether by choice or as an innocent, no-doubt-extremely-bored bystander) knows that I am passionate about this work and take it extremely seriously. It's rare that I begin reviews so self-consciously, but since The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine spends some time on the relationship between artist and critic and audience, I can't help but be especially aware of Tomine potentially reading these words.

It is written in the oldest legends that all are born in prison. This prison is all they know. Literature describes life in it. Religion hints at redemption from it. Having lived here all their lives, humans have ceased to see it as a prison.

More than 1 in 5 people living in the U.S. has a disability, making it the largest minority group in the country.

A few months ago, I watched a chilling film, My Friend Dahmer, based on a graphic memoir written by a high school friend(ish) of infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

While IMDB's logline for the film reads, "A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school," I saw it more as an attempt to contextualize Dahmer. It showed his chaotic family life, the masculinity he was expected to perform yet couldn't, his social ineptness, and the disturbing ways his instincts were and weren't validated.

I have a theory. We, consumers of media in a capitalist, money-obsessed country, love a good fraudster. There's some compelling evidence, too.

When the kerfuffle over the impending release of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman was cluttering up my news feeds in 2015, I confess that I didn't pay much attention.