Bowdoin Reads

Zach Levin is reading...

The contract with God trilogy : life on Dropsie Avenue
by Will Eisner

The Contract With God Trilogy was not the first graphic novel to use that phrase, but it was one of the groundbreaking creations that helped to found the graphic novel genre. Author Will Eisner draws upon real-life experiences and memories to create the fictional Dropsie Avenue in the Bronx neighborhood of the 1930s. The first book of the trilogy, A Contract With God, is a collection of short stories offering a glipse into the lives of an elderly man and his relationship with God, the much-maligned super of a tenement house, as well as the performers known as street singers. The remaining volumes of the trilogy hold the 55 Dropsie Avenue tenement central to their stories and create more and more life around it. Will Eisner combines visual and written storytelling in a powerful manner that draws the reader in. The reality that Eisner weaves, bringing memory to life, reminds the reader of how life was for the immigrants in the 1930s and examines how Dropsie Avenue and its residents affect one another, reminding us how strongly we are connected to our surroundings and those around us.

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