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Drawing History – The New York Times

There is a rich history of graphic novels and nonfiction about decidedly serious subjects. The three new books Hillary Chute reviews in the latest Graphic Content column address the current state of race in America, contemporary slavery and the Holocaust.

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CreditVictor Schrager

“They’re all about documenting history through the pen line, and they’re all about stories of political dispossession,” Ms. Chute says on this week’s podcast. She adds that she has long been interested in the idea of what drawing allows, in terms of expressing historical reality, that words alone can’t do.

One of the books reviewed in the column, Ben Passmore’s “Your Black Friend and Other Strangers,” won numerous awards when it was published as a stand-alone pamphlet.

“It’s such an incisive look at the sort of uncomfortable relationships between black and white friends who are on nominally the same side of a political divide,” Ms. Chute says. “It’s a really powerful piece, from the heart.”

Also on this week’s episode, Nicole Lamy talks about her Match Book column; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Gregory Cowles, Tina Jordan and John Williams talk about what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:

“Masks” by Fumiko Enchi

“The Woman in the Dunes” by Kobo Abe

“Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret” by Craig Brown

“Ulysses” by James Joyce

“The English and Their History” by Robert Tombs

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.

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