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Displacement: A Travelogue: 11/25/15

Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy KnisleyDisplacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley is a graphic novel memoir about the author chaperoning her elderly grandparents on a cruise. They are going as part of a group tour with their retirement home. Her grandparents though are suffering from dementia and other ailments meaning they can't easily travel on their own even though they want to, so she went along to make sure they made it to the ship and survived the experience.

I read the book because I went through a similar experience, though as a child. For my sixth grade graduation I was invited by my grandmother to accompany her and my grandfather on an Alaskan cruise run by his adult day care center. He was in the late stages of Parkinson's at the time and it was likely to be their last trip together. At the time I thought I was just being rewarded for successfully finishing elementary school but in light of Displacement and the experience of adulthood now, I can see that I was really brought along as help for my grandmother who had her own health issues to deal with on top of my grandfather's.

Outer vs inner self

As I was a child and not in any way responsible for my grandparents, I had more fun and was less stressed out than how Lucy depicts herself.

That said, I did still experience many of the same disconnects of being on a trip designed for families and healthy couples, as a child accompanying a bunch of elderly people with their ill partners who either had Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Things I had in common with Lucy: sleeping in total darkness (no porthole, though I was sharing with my grandparents); a grandfather who wet his pants; a grandmother who bruised easily; and Baked Alaska.

Baked Alaska

You can see my live blogging of the book on Tumblr.

Five stars

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