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Comics & Graphic Novels Biography & Memoir

Portrait of a Body

by (author) Julie Delporte

translated by Helge Dascher & Karen Houle

Drawn & Quarterly
Initial publish date
Jan 2024
Biography & Memoir
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2024
    List Price

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A portrait of flourishing desire in a body ever-changing
As she examines her life experience and traumas with great care, Delporte faces the questions about gender and sexuality that both haunt and entice her. Deeply informed by her personal relationships as much as queer art and theory, Portrait of a Body is both a joyous and at times hard meditation on embodiment—a journey to be reunited with the self in an attempt to heal pain and live more authentically.
Delporte's idyllic colored pencil drawings contrast with the near urgency that structures her confessional memoir. Each page is laden with revelation and enveloped in organic, natural shapes—rocks, flowers, intertwined bodies, women's hair blowing in the wind—captured with devotion. The vitality of these forms interspersed with Delporte’s flowing handwriting hold space for her vivid and affecting observations.
Skillfully translated by Helge Dascher and Karen Houle, Portrait of a Body provokes us to remain open to the lessons our bodies have on offer.

About the authors

Julie Delporte's profile page

Helge Dascher has for 25 years translated texts with a dynamic relationship to images. A background in art history and literature has grounded her translation of over sixty graphic novels, many by artists who have broadened the medium's storytelling range. Her translations included acclaimed titles such as Julie Delporte's This Woman's Work (co-translated with Aleshia Jensen, Drawn and Quarterly, 2019), Sophie Bédard's Lonely Boys (co-translated with Robin Lang, Pow Pow Press, 2020) and Michel Rabagliati's "Paul" books (Drawn and Quarterly, Conundrum). She also translates exhibitions, digital stories, and films, most recently Theodor Ushev's The Physics of Sorrow (with Karen Houle, NFB, 2019). A Montrealer, she works from French and German to English.

Helge Dascher's profile page

Karen Houle is the author of two poetry collections, Ballast (1995) and During (2000). She teaches in the Philosophy department at the University of Guelph. She is also involved with the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming, where her interest in putting environmental ethics into practice has shifted her toward land-based approaches to learning. She lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Karen Houle's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Incredibly powerful... Delporte explores what it means to be in a queer body in a patriarchal society, the changing nature of desire, embodiment after trauma, and so, so much more.


Dreamy colored pencil illustrations and gently flowing storytelling capture the beauty, trauma, and ultimate tranquility that comes with learning to exist on your own terms.

The Millions

Delporte (This Woman’s Work) reckons with sexuality, identity, and belonging in this searching and intimate graphic memoir.

Publishers Weekly

Bathed in hues of blue and brown, her watercolor images and line-drawn pictures beautifully compliment her journey from yearning girl to a fully realized, content, and life-affirming queer woman.

Bay Area Reporter

Reading this portrait of a body is like being whispered to all night (by someone you love) while looking at a wonderful procession of images shot fleetingly against a darkened wall. She speaks to the aloneness and togetherness at once. It's ardently alive.

Chelsea Girls

Queer liberation comes in many ways and Julie Delporte delicately writes about the subtleties of this experience and the process of beginning to accept a body that you once rejected. It is a beautiful, candid book that softly extrapolates how we can begin to love ourselves and others again.

Who is Wellness For?

An artistic confessional of identity, sexual deliverance, and self-acceptance.


Dreamy colored pencil illustrations and gently flowing storytelling capture the beauty, trauma, and ultimate tranquility that comes with learning to exist on your own terms.

The Millions

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