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Hiromi Goto, Ann Xu, and First Second Take Us to the Shadow Life

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Kumiko is a seventy-six-year-old bisexual widow and up for anything—even a smack-down with Death. First Second Books has announced, Shadow Life, a graphic novel that effortlessly blends wry, slice-of-life literary fiction with magical Miyazaki-esque elements by Japanese Canadian author, Hiromi Goto, with art from celebrated Ignatz-nominated cartoonist and illustrator Ann Xu.

When Kumiko’s well-meaning adult daughters place her in an assisted living home she gives it a try, but it just doesn’t feel right. She goes on the lam, setting up a cozy bachelor apartment, keeping the location secret even while communicating online with her eldest. Kumiko revels in the small, daily pleasures: decorating as she pleases, eating what she wants, and swimming in the community pool. But something has followed her from her former residence…

Kumiko’s sweet life is shattered when Death’s shadow swoops in to take her. With her quick mind and sense of humour, Kumiko, with the help of friends new and old, is prepared for the fight of her life. But how long can an old woman thwart fate?

An adventure unlike anything you’ve seen before, plunge into Kumiko’s world.

Subtle, beautiful representations of age/ing, race, queer identities, and body image, Shadow Life is slated for release March 30, 2021.

Shadow Life

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