Blog / 2019 / My Alphabet Starts with U

November 18, 2019

U Is for Unicorn already has a forever home—it was one of the paintings that was pre-purchased via the Kickstarter I did for the project. That said, if you want prints or other pretty items with this image, check out my Redbubble shop!

Here’s what I’ve been reading since my last alphabet book update:

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

    This is the second time I’ve read this book, and I know it’s supposed to be about what makes us human, but, for me, this story is more about liars and how to love them. I’ve always had trouble navigating people who misrepresent the truth and that came into clear focus in 2014 when a former classmate of mine lied about the origins of her style and when Portland’s art council lied about how it had bullied me. Never Let Me Go helps me feel compassion for liars and also for myself.

  • The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain

    The thesis of this book is that the written word made humans more linear and ultimately more misogynistic. I agree with the first part wholeheartedly, but the latter is a little harder to believe—maybe because I love reading so much. I’m a third of the way through the book, and, so far, it’s okay. Shlain’s descriptions of gender are a bit too male = *grrr* and female = *sigh* for my taste, and what little he says about queerness reveals his astonishing ignorance on the subject. Still, the book makes a fascinating argument, providing plenty of interesting ideas to chew on. I would recommend pairing The Alphabet Versus the Goddess with Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine or Jay Griffiths’ A Sideways Look at Time, two of my favorite books for making you question your basic assumptions about the world.

black unicorn with rainbow hair
Gwenn Seemel
U Is for Unicorn
2019
acrylic on panel
14 x 14 inches

The first names embedded in this image are Udele, Udo, Uduak, Udumelue, Ugo, Ujarak, Ulisha, Ulrich, Ulwazi, Ulysses, Uma, Umberto, Umeko, Umesh, Una, Unice, Unique, Unity, Upasana, Upton, Uriel, Urpi, Ursula, Usha, Utu, and Uzoma.

UPDATE

June 24, 2020

Baby Sees ABCs is out and available here! You can see all the illustrations from the book in this online gallery.


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