Becoming Unbecoming

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NUMBER OF PAGES

208

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

September 2015

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“Unflinching, heartbreaking and utterly compelling. Una's story explores how the public silencing of women's voices too often creates a private hell.” – Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Hungry, The Stars and Everything

A devastating personal account of gender violence told in graphic-novel form, set against the backdrop of the 1970s Yorkshire Ripper manhunt.

It’s 1977 and Una is twelve. A serial murderer is at large in West Yorkshire and the police are struggling to solve the case – despite spending more than two million man-hours hunting the killer and interviewing the man himself no less than nine times.

As this national news story unfolds around her, Una finds herself on the receiving end of a series of violent acts for which she feels she is to blame.

Through image and text
Becoming Unbecoming explores what it means to grow up in a culture where male violence goes unpunished and unquestioned. With the benefit of hindsight Una explores her experience, wonders if anything has really changed and challenges a global culture that demands that the victims of violence pay its cost.

“This is a beautiful, haunting, take on Peter Sutcliffe's reign of terror, and the women and communities he destroyed. The bare fact is, as Una beautifully explores, that females are living under a reign of patriarchal power that requires us to take the rough with the rough. Except we don't. Una illustrates – through prose and graphics – how this fightback is taking place. Consume this book, and be prepared to join the revolution.” – Julie Bindel, journalist

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REVIEWS

Big Issue North

•Independent street paper

“Exploring gender violence, blame and shame through image and text Una asks what it means to grow up in a society where male violence goes unpunished.”

Broken Frontier

•Comic book website

“Delicate in construction yet uncompromising in message, Becoming Unbecoming is an astonishing testament to the potency of visual metaphor.” – Andy Oliver

Mary Talbot

•Writer of Dotter of Her Father's Eyes

“Male violence against women is a major problem – for all of us. This exploration of blame and shame brings home that fact in an immediate way, but also with great delicacy.”