Improve: How I Discovered Improv and Conquered Social Anxiety

First Second. Sept. 2022. 240p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781250208224. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781250208231.
Gr 7 Up–A personal and surprisingly comprehensive introduction to improv for the uninitiated. After struggling with social interactions in college and weathering the emotional nosedive of post-graduation loneliness, Graudins tentatively attempts to end her self-isolation by enrolling in improv classes in her small Rhode Island town. Though many imagine improv as a purely comedic form, Graudins’s personal experience reveals its essential emphasis on the building blocks and nuances of human interactions. The book’s illustration style is at once mercilessly cute and satisfyingly precise, echoing the work of such memoir-documentary cartoonists as Erika Moen and Lucy Knisley. With a bevy of improv exercise examples (and an appendix with more!) and excerpts from texts on the form, this graphic memoir is a love letter to the theatrical practice that helped Graudins grow.
VERDICT Part memoir, part handbook, this title is poised to pique the interest of socially cautious readers and the theatrically inclined.

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