“Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story” by Debbie Tung, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 184 pages, $14.99
Discovering what you want out of life, navigating self-doubt, and standing on the threshold of adulthood is tough no matter who you are. Luckily there are friends along the way who can help us.
For some of us, those friends happen to be made out of a splash of ink and a pound of paper. “Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story” by Debbie Tung is one of those books. When it arrived, Debbie Tung’s graphic novel looked familiar to me and no doubt why — I had been following her work on Instagram at @wheresmybubble. I was glad to get my hands on this book.
This autobiographical graphic novel of Tung's young life and entry into adulthood is told in single-page sets of drawings which makes it easy to dip in and out, or do as I did and read it all in one sitting. She makes her way through graduate school, writing her dissertation, reflecting on her childhood and getting into a relationship with an extrovert — all with observational, self-deprecating humor and charm.
Tung’s book had a very similar effect on me as when I read Susan Cain’s bestselling “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” a few years ago. It opened my eyes to my own introversion and I found a kinship. I knew I was an introvert long before reading it, but there were parts of my personality that didn’t make sense to me, like my ambition, like my ability to be outgoing in specific situations. Cain’s book explores introversion in a deep dive and gave me a lot of helpful insight. Tung’s book is anecdotal, and more like a quiet cup of tea with a good friend, you can communicate with entirely by passive telepathy.
Tung also opened my eyes to differences of experience. Experiences I imagine that would be more common for young women who are introverts as well, navigating sexist behavior on top of their introversion. I’ve already pressed my copy into the hands of my favorite introvert to see what she thinks.
I’d recommend “Quiet Girl in a Noisy World” to introverts who are figuring things out and the people that love them.