Graphic novelist and cartoonist Laura Gao joins the podcast this week to discuss her new memoir, Messy Roots: The Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American. When Wuhan, China captured the world's attention as the first epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Laura penned the comic strip "The Wuhan I Know" in reaction to the disgust and racism directed toward her hometown. The comic went viral and was featured in outlets like NPR, Huffington Post, and more. The comic became the basis for Laura's graphic memoir, released earlier this month.
A Wuhan native, Laura immigrated to Texas when she was four years old. Messy Roots is a wholesome and heartwarming tale of Laura's journey navigating their many ~strands and identities~ from being an immigrant, a Chinese-American, and coming out as queer in college.
This conversation was hosted by Megan Cattel (usually the editor of this podcast!) They talk about internalized racism, coming out (or not) to family, Laura's favorite childhood memories in Wuhan (involving water buffalo), and delve into some Eileen Gu/Nathan Chen discourse.