Hi! I am Alison Chen, a friend of Dylan’s. He showed me the book when I was waiting for him at the barber’s. At first, I thought it was an easy and light book to read, to kill the time. It turned out I was wrong. By finishing reading the first six pages, I had felt really depressed. The words became heavier and heavier as I read on. It wasn’t like suffocating, but close. The way you wrote indicated a complication of holding a certain grudge to the past and letting go of the past. I sensed a strong yet delicate desire of surviving between the lines, which impressed me the most. Despite knowing that you had your younger sister take the beating, I don’t consider you to be a bad person. I could never imagine being in a situation like that. When I was approaching the part where the abuse took place, I stopped and thought of your Facebook profile picture, which Dylan showed me. You seem positive and happy now, and it led me to believe one thing I never had the chance to believe : wounds can be healed even the scar remains. I can not know it for sure, but I believe you have gotten over it and you have led a new life now.
There’s one sentence that has left great impression on me, “A little smack in the face or a couple hours in The Corner wouldn’t break me. “ Some might say that you had gotten used to the hardships already, some might say that you became numb, I would say, yeah, they are not wrong. But these are just the superficial perspectives. Beyond your casual tone of telling the story, I see a strong-minded man. The scars and wounds of yours are a map of your adventure. You have obtained something really rare that no one can take away from you.
I will look forward to your following volumes, Mr.Black. I really enjoy and admire you and your work.
Life of a Bastard Vol.1
“A Coming of Age Story in New York City’s Foster Care System”
Book Series by Damien Black
Illustrations by Laura Caiafa
"An uncensored account of Javier Soto’s life as he journeys through foster care. The story tells of a deserted child, robbed of his innocence and tossed through the evils of a 1980s’ American society. With survival becoming the ultimate goal, will he ever break free from the world of institutionalization? "
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