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Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

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Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

Kate Beaton
Published: 2022
Genre: Graphic memoir
Awards: ALA's 2022 Great Graphic Novels for Adults, NYT 100 Notable Books of 2022

Known for her humorous comic strips Hark! A Vagrant! and children’s books likes The Princess and the Pony, Kate Beaton has released her first full length graphic memoir. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands follows Beaton’s time working in the Canadian oil sands after graduating college. Like many East Coast Canadians, she heads out west to Alberta looking for employment in the oil industry with the goal of paying off her student loans as quickly as possible.

She finds work at Fort McMurray and discovers she is one of a handful of women working among thousands of men. Harassment and blatant sexism is a daily occurrence. Despite the harsh realities of the job, Beaton finds beauty in the Canadian wilderness and forges close bonds with some of the other workers.

This is a deeply personal memoir that can be heartbreaking and dark, but also quite humorous at times.

I highly recommend this title.