Drawing Blood: A Book Review

Molly Crabapple went from art school to occupy Wall Street to reporting on Guantanamo Bay. This is her memoir. She literally and figuratively draws blood to tell her story. I both envy and long for her life experiences as a vampire longs after blood from its victims.
  1. I am not brave. I am ordinary. I read memoirs because I want to vicariously live through others. I am not brave enough to cross most boundaries and borders. 🙉🙈🙊
  2. Molly travelled throughout scary countries before she turned 18.
    She didn't hesitate to live with strangers and to hitchhike places where a woman travelling alone is frowned upon.
  3. She was a goth girl, a suicide girl, posed for GWC (guys with cameras), and did Burlesque.
    I always thought the Suicide girls were so cool (the reality is they were used and commercialized). I am a quiet goth and not brave enough to do burlesque.
  4. Ultimately was she only a poor art student posing nude for money?
    Or was she something more subversive?
  5. Where is the line drawn between Art vs Commerce? Did you know that Dali did a cookbook? I didn't.
    Do we do the work for cash or do we do it for desire? I write. I sell very little of it. I long for a paying position as a writer. Is blogging and listing and writing mainly for myself better than not doing art at all.
  6. Molly played brave music after her abortion. She listen to Ella Fitzgerald and got on with it.
    I listen to Ani DiFranco and numerous country women singers. I listen to musicals identifying with the misunderstood. I am not brave.
  7. Who has the power? Who has the money? What will you do for freedom? What is freedom?
    Freedom is owning my own home and supporting myself. I've never had the power. I seldom have the money.
  8. My favourite quotes from the book follow:
    I could have copied paragraphs and pages.
  9. This was the N. Y. I dreamed of. It was Frida's parties and Colette's Paris and everything I'd read in books.
    This is what I do. I read. I live a too quiet life. I am too much afraid.
  10. They have some good ideas, but they're also pretending.
    We all pretend.
  11. How many times can I put this mask on before I have no face yet?
    A mask is a mask is a mask. My mask is of a nice, quiet, unthreatening spinster.
  12. What was more peaceful as a book? Or more dangerous?
  13. We thought we'd done the impossible: our guy was now in charge. Was the sky ever as blue as it was that next morning?
    Didn't we all think this after Obama's first win. I don't even live or vote in the U. S. A. and I was so happy after that election.
  14. We live in the most image-saturated age in history and a thousand cell phone pics mark the occasion . . .
    I try not to live behind the lens or inside the picture. I'm trying to learn to live in the moment, good or bad. I'm trying to be brave.
  15. An example of Molly Crabapple's art.
  16. Drawing Blood by Molly Crabapple. N. Y. : HarperCollins, 2015