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Shadow Life

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Shadow Life: Kumiko Escapes the Restraints of Assisted Living, but Can She Escape Death’s Shadow?

A new graphic novel from First Second Books titled ‘Shadow Life’ blends sensible humor and the importance of remembrance.

A new graphic novel from First Second Books titled ‘Shadow Life’ blends sensible humor and the importance of remembrance.
Shadow Life Cover

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. 

Advance Praise for Shadow Life

 Quiet sensitivity and humor shine throughout, lighting the bright triumph in one woman’s twilight.
– Publisher’s Weekly

“The world of Kumiko is whimsical and beautiful, you’ll want to just relax and soak it in.”
– Soda & Telepaths

“It’s a touching book that reminds us that our elders have often lived long and varied lives and, as their lives draw to a close, the need for the connections to those memories and experiences remains just as important as their care.”
-Women Write About Comics

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Shadow Life effortlessly blends wry, slice-of-life literary fiction with magical Miyazaki-esque elements by Japanese Canadian author, Hiromi Goto (Chorus of Mushrooms, The Kappa Child, Half World), with art from celebrated Ignatz-nominated cartoonist and illustrator Ann Xu (Measuring Up).

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


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