Hayao Miyazaki’s Characters Help Me Grieve My Chronic Illness
“Howl’s Moving Castle” and “The Legend of Korra” are about protagonists living with magic and fighting for the fate of the world. To me, they’re also metaphors for dynamic disability.
Is any art form tied to childhood more tightly than cartoons? Even in my family, where TV was strictly limited and my parents eschewed cable until I was in high school, I managed to absorb the zaniness of the Animaniacs and memorize most of the songs in Aladdin and The Lion King. On certain special days in elementary school, teachers would wheel in a boxy TV and play episodes of Schoolhouse Rock in lieu of a lesson. Elsewhere, commercials featured cereal-box mascots with their own jingles. Comic-strip characters like Snoopy leaped from newspaper to screen. Even my ultra-religious aunt, when we visited her house, resorted to saccharine animated stories of the saints to keep us occupied.
Lorraine is a journalist and fiction writer. Previously a staff writer for Smithsonian Magazine, she covers history, archaeology, evolution, and the weird world. She has received fellowships from the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources and the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Lorraine's first narrative nonfiction book, The Last Voyageurs, (Pegasus Books/April 2016) was a finalist for the Chicago Book of the Year award. Her fiction has appeared in The Massachusetts Review and Literary Laundry. She's currently at work on two novels about friendship and belonging.
Enter your email address to receive notifications for author Lorraine Boissoneault
Confirmation link sent to your email to add you to notification list for author Lorraine Boissoneault
More by this author
You can study all you want, but it’s only in the act of doing that you learn what’s right and what isn’t.
More in this series
Our fathers may never know us the way we wish they would. And if we learned that ignorance is bliss, it’s because we learned it from them.
Fifteen years after it premiered, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ continues to teach ambitious young people that exploitation is the price you must pay for success.