Kristen Radtke is a narrator as unflinching and bold as readers should be before approaching this graphic novel. Seek You demonstrates how loneliness is an experience that’s both universal and achingly unique—which is why it shouldn’t scare or embarrass us. The artwork is both dramatic and sparse, allowing readers to float along without getting lost in the big picture. This is a story about “we,” not “me.”
For lovers of creative nonfiction, this title has the rare ability to interweave facts with personal anecdotes in such a way that one cannot help but feel a little less alone. Examining loneliness through an American lens, Radtke illuminates how truly American it is to be lonely, from the female love interest surrounded by take-out containers and cats to the lone cowboy too cool for silly feelings like love, or empathy. Loneliness is as American as apple pie, yet merely mentioning it is a social taboo. Who would ever admit to being lonely? Radtke makes loneliness an exercise in being together in our unique aloneness, instead of becoming isolated within it.
By Brianne Kane
SEEK YOU: A Journey Through American Loneliness
By Kristen Radtke
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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