Carla, an American estranged from her Mexican father, heads to Mexico City with a backpack, a few hundred dollars, and a head full of preconceptions. Her intense desire to connect with Mexico and her unwillingness to see the impact of her own history on her understanding combine to turn an innocent journey down a dark path.
A story about the youthful desire to live an authentic life and the consequences of trusting easy answers, La Perdida—at once grounded in the particulars of life in Mexico and resonantly universal—is a story about finding yourself by getting lost.
What they’re saying about La Perdida
The real joy here is that you should see it coming given how skillfully Abel layers in the inevitability of the twist. Suddenly [La Perdida] jolts from quotidian travelogue to thrilling adventure territory.– New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
La Perdida is a sharp cautionary tale about the perils of shady friends and slippery cultural footing.– Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A-)
La Perdida is as layered, well-realized and vivid as an autobiography, but without the lingering taint of self-absorption.– The Onion AV Club (Grade: A)
It’s half comic book, half movie—an indescribable reading experience that you’ll have to try for yourself.– NPR All Things Considered
(All Things Considered Summer Reading List, Talk of the Nation Summer Reading List)
What really makes the story compelling…is Abel’s sensitivity to character and dialogue—Carla is the narrator, but she’s hardly a heroine, and the way crucial meanings are lost in translation ratchets up the dramatic tension.– Publishers Weekly Starred Review, Best of 2006
Carla’s naïve idealism rings all too true.– Spin (Grade: B+)
Abel writes like a dramaturge, developing character and conflict mostly through articulate dialogue that ping-pongs between her smart, if oftentimes deluded or flawed characters.– Time.comix (Best Comic of 2006)
An emotional, beautifully crafted odyssey that not only utilizes but transcends both navel-gazing self-discovery and backpackers-in-peril clichés.– Kirkus Reviews
A compelling blend of youthful arrogance and innocence [the protagonist of La Perdida] Carla is one of the most gripping graphic characters in years.– Kirkus Graphic Spotlight
Abel returns to many of the same themes that have made her decade-long comic Artbabe a pill-popper for the female and alienated—questions of art, lust, rage, and separating out the genuinely sweet goateed boys from the frat-boy poseurs. La Perdida [part one], with its sly sophistication, wisdom, and Burroughs-inflected cliff-hanger ending, promises that the completed series may approach something deserving of the word epic.– San Francisco Chronicle
The hardcover of La Perdida has a full wraparound slipcover and book cover. Click to check them out.