Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung
4 out of 5 Stars
Being an introvert is often depicted in the media as being quirky, fun, and a sign of a deeper intellect, but what is illustrated (haha) very well in Debbie Tung’s collection of comic strips is that being an introvert is also about having to tackle the everyday anxieties going on inside of your own head.
Part humorous vignettes and part coming of age story, Quiet Girl takes us through Debbie’s everyday life as a student in college into her adult world. Debbie’s introversion takes forms in multiple ways from her nervousness around meeting new people, inability to speak up for herself, and the plaguing self-doubt that is constantly swimming around inside of her head. Yet, Tung descriptive yet simplistic style of illustration never makes the story overly bleak. Just painfully honest. As a small child who was also very introverted one of the things I remember internalizing a lot was adults telling me that something was wrong with the fact that I wanted to just read books and be alone sometimes. Being told you are “too quiet” and that you need “to go out of your comfort zone” as if everyone lives in the same level.
But it isn’t all bleakness, throughout the story, Tung’s husband Jason offers a fun balance to her own habits and the sweetness of their relationship shows that the most important thing is understanding. Understanding that some people are wired differently and do not feel the need to socialize endlessly or go out all the time. There are those who just want to curl up with a nice book and cup of tea and that is okay. Quiet Girl is in many ways Tung’s way of telling herself, and the world, that it is okay to not be a social butterfly. I also enjoyed that the end solution is not to change who you are to better fit society. There are compromises to be made and it’s important to hang out sometimes, but the narrative never tries to shame or make introverted people feel like their ability to be content by themselves is the same as isolation. It is just another kind of freedom.
Quiet Girl is both an excellent call to arms for other introverts to find their voice in a way that best reflects their own needs and also a good tool for those who are more extroverted to understand what goes on in the minds of their more softspoken kin. It is a heartfelt and funny piece of work that combines the best kinds of storytelling devices to tell a story about finding your own voice in your own way.
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World; An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung will be released November 7th, 2017.
Debbie’s cartoons and other art can also be found online at whereismybubble.tumblr.com.
( image: Andrews McMeel Publishing )
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