“Monster Portraits,” by Del and Sofia Samatar

“Monster Portraits,” by Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar. Rose Metal Press. February 2018. 84 pp. Paper, $14.95. Adult.

Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, for providing me with books to review. You can find or order all of the books I review at the store.

2018 has been a great year for literary monsters. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is celebrating its 200th anniversary, and Emil Ferris’s graphic novel “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” won three Eisners, the most vaunted award for comics in the U.S.

Siblings Sofia and Del Samatar’s new book “Monster Portraits” settles comfortably between these two celebrated texts. Itself a monstrous hybrid of many genres—picture book, travel narrative, memoir, science fiction story, philosophical treatise, and scholarly gloss—“Monster Portraits” gathers centuries of monsters close for examination, honor, and affectionate portrayal. These are, after all, “portraits,” not the mug shots that society expects of those it deems monstrous. Continue reading ““Monster Portraits,” by Del and Sofia Samatar”