I Feel Bad. All Day. Every Day. About Everything.

"Given that I am both female and Jewish, feeling bad was an ubiquitous part of growing up," writes Orli Auslander in the introduction to her collection of 100 sketches that cover her nearly 20 years of cognitive behavioral therapy. She deciphers many of the circumstances that have made her feel bad. Each black-and-white page conveys an observant, no-holds-barred, self-critical quality that depicts Auslander's innermost thoughts. Her work bears similarities to Allie Brosh's anxiety while succumbing to the woe-is-me musings of Harvey Pekar or Daniel Clowes. Some of her sketches cover issues of identity, some document the internal struggles of parenthood (I Feel Bad #3: I transfer my fears [to her children] and I Feel Bad #32: My kids barely know they're Jewish) and the generational battles waged within immigrant families (I Feel Bad #11: I failed my father and #12: My father failed me). Some address the hypocrisy of Auslander's own actions: I Feel Bad #31: I don't give enough, as she dumps a few pieces of change into a panhandler's cup while bedecked in designer duds, and I Feel Bad #4: I'm irresponsible, in which she texts while driving, nearly running down a pedestrian. Some seek connection while others beg for solitude. As Auslander resigns herself to misery, she also recognizes her "long dormant sweet and tender rational side" that battles to be heard.

She never thought she could share something so personal with strangers, nor did she feel that strangers would understand, but the intimate nature of these sketches speaks to the core of what it means to be a modern-day woman. --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

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