The Joy of Quitting (Paperback)
From toddler antics to doctor appointments, Keiler Roberts breathes humour and life into the fleeting present
Keiler Roberts affirms her status as one of the best autobiographical cartoonists working today with The Joy of Quitting, a work encompassing 8 years of hilarious moments in the author’s life, mined from the universal. It spans her frantic child-rearing, misfires in the workplace, and frustrating experiences with the medical system.
In one strip, the author and her daughter Xia have itchy scalps. Roberts asks her husband to check her hair and all she gets is the cursory remark that he just sees "a bunch of bugs.” In another, Xia describes her oddly shaped poop in precise detail. We then see Xia sitting at the breakfast table telling the family that she recently learned the word “nuisance” and everyone agrees it’s a good word for her to know. As Xia grows from toddler to big kid, the family evolves and its dynamics shift in subtle ways, changes that pass all too suddenly in real life captured forever with Roberts’s keen observational humour.
The Joy of Quitting is Roberts’ magnum opus of domestic comedy, highlighting how she continues to work within and expand the rich tradition of autobiographical comics. Again and again, Roberts shows us that most meaningful moments or gestures often don’t have any meaning at all.
Keiler Roberts makes autobiographical comics. She is the recipient of the Cartoonist Studio Prize and the Ignatz Award. She has taught comics at The School of The Art Institute in Chicago.
Early in her career, Roberts self-published Powdered Milk, Happy Happy Baby Baby, and Miseryland. Koyama Press published Chlorine Gardens, Rat Time, and Sunburning which was translated into Spanish as Isolada. The Joy of Quitting is her second book for Drawn & Quarterly, following My Begging Chart which was translated into Spanish as Mi Tabla De Súplicas.
"A diary in comics form, Roberts’s book collects snippets from eight years of her daily life, capturing exasperating and hysterical moments of mothering, friendship and more."—New York Times
"Little is off-limits here as Roberts (literally, visually) bares all, certain to induce welcome nods of utter understanding from many readers."—Shelf Awareness
“I love the way… Keiler Roberts use[s] diary comics to endow small, throwaway moments with the dignity and weight of larger ones.”—Liana Finck, The New York Times
“Her work gives off a kind of radical stillness. It always lowers my blood pressure... Keiler Roberts is my new hero.”—Christopher Borrelli, The Chicago Tribune