Becoming Unbecoming

Read This, Watch That: Becoming Unbecoming & Happy Valley

Becoming UnbecomingBecoming Unbecoming by Una
Published by Myriad Editions on December 1st, 2015
Source: Library
Pages: 224
Buy From IndieBound

Becoming Unbecoming is the beautifully sketched and watercolored, (mostly) black and white graphic memoir of the artist Una. The book brilliantly parallels Una’s adolescence, which is marked by sexual violence and shame, with the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper. The pairing is less strange than it sounds, as the serial killer terrorized Una’s town for years and caused ripples in her life while the Yorkshire police failed to connect the dots leading to his identity. A memoir, a history, a piece of art, and a fact-filled takedown of rape culture, Becoming Unbecoming is incredibly ambitious and unique. I can’t recommend it enough.

Happy Valley (BBC One/Netflix)

This rarely happens with my Read This, Watch That recommendations, but I actually started Becoming Unbecoming while watching Happy Valley’s second season. My UK geography is rusty, but I recognized several of the show’s locations on a map early in the book and realized they share a West Yorkshire setting. Location is just the start of the parallels and, though it’s best to discover them yourself in a show like this, the way Happy Valley handles them is what makes the show so brilliant. Created and written by Sally Wainwright, Happy Valley shifts the perspective of the usual crime drama and stands out in its ability to address violence against women without making it the suspenseful driver of plot.

  • I’m adding this book to my TBR list at the top – it sounds terrific! And that show looks so good. I love British shows, so this will be a new one for me to dig into. So glad you shared it :)

    • Yes, you’ll definitely dig both! My husband and I have been on a huge BBC binge lately and Happy Valley has been one of our favorites.

  • I love the cover for this book, and the premise sounds interesting. Will keep a look out for it…Oh, and Happy Valley is so so good, Sarah Lancashire is brilliant.

  • Oh, Becoming Unbecoming sounds pretty good. There was a serial killer in my area too in some of my formative-est years, and I think it substantially shaped the way I interact with the world and the level of danger I perceive at basically all times. :/ So I’m always interested to hear how other people responded to that kind of situation in their childhoods.

    • Oh wow, that’s so scary. Sadly, you’d probably find a bit to relate to with this one – it’s something I’ve never really thought about, but makes so much sense.

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  • I’m getting a strange feeling that I’ve seen Becoming Unbecoming elsewhere, but I’m not actually sure that I have. Regardless, it sounds absolutely breathtaking, both in the good sense and the bad. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

  • Ooooh, I LOVE Happy Valley. So dark but sooo good. I’ll definitely have to check out Becoming Unbecoming. Sounds really interesting!