Quick Reviews: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

With pale pink illustrations, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi, gives a sharp look at how one person deals with the demons in her mind that the world creates and painfully overcomes them.

What is the book about? 

The opening scene of the manga, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi is like a film since it focuses on an unexpected situation that the female protagonist of this manga is in and then she talks about the scene and how she ended up there.

Next page though, we see the ghosts that haunted her in the past ten years that led her to that opening situation: ghosts that we may all face such as not knowing where to go, not having a “something I belong to”, to much more serious ones such as self harm, eating disorders and depression.

After quitting college, she faces conflicts of adjusting to the workplace and to the world as a whole, including her own parents and living up to their expectations. It mostly goes downhill from there: be it at her part time jobs or with her own self esteem.

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness deals in a matured way with mental health issues such as anxiety of facing people or the world’s expectations.

One idea that struck me was when she mentions about her invisible pain and I thought that that would help people to understand mental health issues:

“When my mind is hurting there is no shape or mark to look at, so I can’t understand it very well.”

What was heartbreaking to see was how the story depicts the loneliness of the protagonist which we may all face at sometime or the other. And who has not at times felt bereft of people or felt metaphorically stranded on an island while the world passes by?

What was heartening though was how she was encouraged by random strangers at her job interviews to pursue her dream of writing manga. That alone would light up anybody and restore faith in humanity.

The protagonist’s honest stripping of her doubts and searching within was another heartwarming aspect since it laid bare all her fears and anxieties. But she was gutsy enough to write about it and also to try to fix herself after that retrospection.

The manga in no way is trying to be preachy or inspirational. But it quietly depicts the travails of one person and how she accepts herself slowly. It shows how the journey can be hard and not something that can be overcome with just one try or after one retrospection.

One Last Reason to Pick it up? 

Number One: It is autobiographical and Nagata Kabi talks about the blinding sense of loneliness she encountered, so much so that she had to go in search of hugs. It crippled her life so much so that even going back to a normal routine such as waking up everyday on time was a momentous achievement.

Number Two: Its frank approach of depicting the female sexuality and about expectations around sex as well. The manga also talks about her explorations with her sexuality while figuring out who she was and who she wants to be. But make no mistake of simply pigeonholing the manga into a queer one. It is just not about answering a call of lust but about dispelling one’s loneliness and wanting to overcome her personal and societal taboos around sex and facing her anxieties of breaking from her own cocooned shell.

Number Three: My Lesbian Experience of Loneliness is thus a beautiful exploration of the self, of growing up, understanding and accepting oneself. It is one of the few female bildungsroman manga that are out there.



31 thoughts on “Quick Reviews: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

  1. I love the bildungsroman genre, but you’re right, they almost always have male characters! I am very intrigued to check this work out. Loneliness is definitely a major societal issue and I think that’s why works about loneliness like the beautiful song “911” by Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator resonate so much with people.

  2. This sounds like an interesting read into the mind of those who are struggling with similar issues, thanks for sharing this with us to check out.

  3. Good review! Glad someone had the foresight to write a book that can help others accept themselves, because the only thing that matters is if you accept yourself.

  4. I love the way you reviewed the book. A lot of times, the importance of the work can get lost after sexuality genders. However, issues like loneliness and need for human affection exist across genders and sexuality.

  5. Never heard of this book. It sure seems interesting. I’m intrigued. Accepting oneself is one of the main aspects to fulfilling life. Will surely check out the book.

  6. Oh wow, this looks like an interesting read. I’ve never heard of the bildungsroman genre before but now I definitely have to do some research!

  7. A rare book! I think people should read it in order to help them understand their emotions and mindset. It’s not always easy finding your purpose in life but when you do, you become a whole new person.

  8. The choices we make in our lives can sometimes make us very lonely. That was a good book review and an interesting book to read .

  9. Pingback: Top 5: Female Bildungsroman Novels | The Book Cafe!

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