Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Having an Age of License with Lucy Knisley

Give a big howdy to Chris from Chrisbookarama, here to talk about An Age of License by the writer who turned her into a graphic novel reader, Lucy Knisley. Find out what Chris thinks about Knisley's latest!

age of license lucy knisley cover
I was introduced to the work of Lucy Knisley, and graphic novels, several years ago when I read French Milk. I absolutely fell in love with the genre and Lucy’s style in particular. Lucy ate her way through Paris while soaking up the sights with her Mom. It was delightful and touching. French Milk made me a Graphic Novel Convert. Last year, I bought Relish and thoroughly enjoyed Lucy’s stories of her food loving family and her travels around the world sampling each country’s delicious dishes.

What I love most about the graphic novels of Lucy Knisley is how I can live vicariously through her books. Travel, food, youthful enthusiasm, her books have all of these. In An Age of License, Lucy chronicles her book tour trip through Europe. First, a comic convention in Norway, romance with a new guy in Sweden, a visit with friends in Germany, and finally meeting up with her Mom in France. To be young and free! To have those kinds of opportunities! Lucy’s travel itinerary is one I’d like to follow myself.

The title of the book, An Age of License, comes from a conversation with one of the people she meets on her travels. He claims that is it “the time when you’re young and experimenting with your lives and careers.” While Lucy is experimenting, she’s also struggling to decide what path her life should take, much like the themes in French Milk. She still has career growing pains and romantic woes. She is having an Age of Licence but she is worried about the future and the next phase of her life.
page from an age of license

Lucy does realize that her life is privileged. She has had the opportunity to travel, partly through her work. She also has a variety of friends with amazing jobs whose homes she can stay. She addresses these privileges here unlike in her other books. It always surprised me at how much she could travel.

Obviously, I enjoy her books because her life is so different from my own. I wasn’t able to afford to travel at Lucy’s age. She tries out new things, food...men. She’s is very talented, and makes a living with her art. As she says, “It’s not wrong to travel and love and to be silly and lucky, or to even make work about it.” Maybe my own Age of License is behind me, if I ever had such a thing, but I think I can learn something from Lucy’s books. I can take chances, be optimistic, and curious about the world. Her books make me want to take my own adventures, cultivate my own international experiences.

If you have a lust for travel and a love of good food, you won’t be disappointed by Lucy Knisley’s graphic novels.


  1. I enjoyed this one, too! Have you read Displacement yet? The themes get a little more mature there and it crosses generations quite well.

    Joy's Book Blog

    1. I have that one on my list! Definitely going to read it.

  2. I've been eyeing Kinsley's books, but have never read one . . . yet! Definitely going to keep me eye out next time I'm at the library!

  3. I can't believe I still haven't read this one. ARGH.


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