A well thought out review of Maranda Elizabeth’s Telegram Anthology.
Originally posted on What Hannah Read:
This is a beautiful, inspiring, absorbing book. It isn’t a traditional novel, nonfiction tome or memoir but instead a collection of self-published zines (if you’re unsure what a zine is, then google is your friend) which were handcrafted by the author themself. As a result, the look of the book’s pages are much prettier than that of an “ordinary” book, with text written on typewriters, computer and by hand and cute hand-drawn illustrations and embellishments, as well as cut-and-paste images. The text is the collection’s main focus though: Maranda Elizabeth puts a lot of time and effort into crafting their words – and it shows. As an established reader of personal zines (or perzines, as they are commonly known) I know that Maranda’s are among the most popular of the genre, and reading this it is easy to understand why – there is thought and depth in every sentence. Maranda Elizabeth’s style is clever yet easy to read, and I hope their novel is also published soon as I cannot wait to devour it!
What is Telegram about, then? It’s about mental health, the concept of home, the art of writing, friendship, introversion, sobriety, letters, gender, being a twin and many more things besides. Maranda Elizabeth has produced several issues of Telegram a year for almost a decade, so it is more than a wee bit like reading their (very well-written) journal, taking a glimpse into their life from late teens to twenties and following the ups and downs they experienced in this time; including roadtrips, hospitalizations, moving out of their hometown to a city, then back again, then back to the city once more; deciding to quit alcohol and identifying as genderqueer. There really is too much in this book for me to be able to do the content justice.