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Reading Tours

In ‘One Good Egg,’ Suzy Becker sketches family’s birth

David Wilson for the Boston Globe

Suzy Becker’s illustrated memoir, “One Good Egg,” chronicles her attempt to have a baby via fertility treatment (and sperm donation from a close male friend). Originally a cartoonist, Becker — who reads at 7 p.m. Monday at Brookline Booksmith — promises that her reading will include visual aids.

The cartoons, she says, “have to be there for the counterpoint and the humor.” Becker ordinarily uses PowerPoint so that the images can accompany her reading, but this is a resourceful author: She’s done everything “from holding up foam-core blowups” to handing out copies of her books so the audience can see the cartoons.

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Becker says that mixing prose and pictures is how she always works — and the process results in a book that easily blends humor and emotion.

“One Good Egg” is her second illustrated memoir. “I Had Brain Surgery, What’s Your Excuse?” traces Becker’s treatment and recovery from a brain tumor (Entertainment Weekly called it a “unique tragicomedy of a memoir”). “One Good Egg” is the first book in which Becker has portrayed her family: wife Lorene, daughter Aurora, and Aurora’s father, Steve.

“It was a little bit hard to write” for that reason, Becker says. “It’s hard to make your personal life public.” But she learned that “as long as I portray myself fairly, everybody else is OK with their portrayal.”

As for Aurora, now 8, she is thrilled with the book (though Becker points out that when it first arrived at the house the family “read it out loud with some heavy parental paraphrasing”). Her father, who lives in Australia, visits New York once a year, and they Skype frequently. “The idea that we could have a close family across continents has been kind of surprising and wonderful,” Becker says. So is her funny, moving, honest book.

Kate Tuttle, a writer and editor, can be reached at kate.tuttle@gmail.com.
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