By Nacho Casanova
Publisher: Kettledrummer Books/Diabolo Ediciones
Unauthorized Autobiography is a series of brief vignettes in which the author recreates moments that have happened to him during the day over a short period of time. It’s not a biography in the sense that it charts his life, but it does cover a number of days, and events in his young adult life, drawing comics and experiencing cafe culture.
There’s no big drama here, no life changing event nor is there a definitive moment the tales are building towards. Instead this is just aimed as a reflection of his life that in turn we may be able to see something of ourselves.
In the chapter Russian Dolls, Casanova is disturbed from drawing whilst sat on his sofa by a knock at the door. It’s a a somewhat distressed and slightly confused neighbour, needing to borrow money because his father’s been taken ill. He only needs a few Euros, and indeed that’s what Casanova gives him, with a promise in return that the money will be paid back promptly. Instead, what we get are a series of ever frustrating accounts with the man in which he ducks and dives the issue and makes further empty promises. No great revelation is made nor is there a point at which it is even satisfactorily resolved, but through Casanova’s pen you get to experience the moments that inspired him to record them in the first place.
The book does contain adult content, particularly the chapter that involves his break up from his girlfriend, so a little caution depending on who’ll be reading it. With the rest of the family sat engrossed in the TV, I found myself drawn into and absorbed by the book. It is an honest and open sharing of some diverse moments in a life that is not that exceptional or out of the ordinary, but in its own way all the more compelling for it.
And if you liked that: For a slightly different autobiographical tale, try Guy Delisle’s Burma Chronicles