Dancing at the Pity Party

by Tyler Feder

Book, 2020



Call number




Dial Books (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 208 pages


"Tyler Feder shares her story of her mother's first oncology appointment to facing reality as a motherless daughter in this frank and refreshingly funny graphic memoir"--

User reviews

LibraryThing member villemezbrown
Tyler Feder was a freshman at college when her mom died of cancer at 47. It was pretty easy for me to identify with this tale of loss and grief as my father died at 52 just before my sophomore year of college and my mother died a decade later of cancer at age 54. I am now on the verge of living a
Show More
longer life than either of them.

While there is nothing revelatory herein, it was comforting to recognize similar thoughts about mourning, and I welcomed the prompt to revisit the lives and deaths of my own parents, to touch on the sadness of our time apart and dwell on the joy of our time together.

If there is a fault in the book, it might be that it is so introspective I hardly got an impression of the impact of the death of Feder's mother on Feder's father and sisters.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Hccpsk
I typically struggle a bit with graphic novels, but Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder worked for me. Her homey drawing style, emotional story, and sense of humor hit all the right notes in this memoir about her mother’s death. Throughout the book, she gives great advice and delivers plenty
Show More
of laughs while examining her experience of losing her mom to cancer when she was still in college. A definite recommended read if you liked Good Talk, Hey Kiddo, and other memoir-style graphic novels.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jothebookgirl
Thus memoir will stay with this reader forever in my heart. I cannot say enough wonderful words to express the impact this book has made on me.

Reader, you have the rare privilege to view a tender memoir of a girl who is the oldest of three sisters in a close knit Jewish family. Tyler the voice of
Show More
the memoir, is coping with her mother’s death. The author deftly and sensitively blends joy, anguish, and even whimsy into this unforgettable story. The author was just 19 when her mother, Rhonda, was diagnosed with stage-four cancer, with little chance of survival. Tyler Feder was often away at college while her family oversaw Rhonda’s treatment in Florida. Tyler has portrayed equal parts celebration, reflection, and mourning. This graphic memoir touches on the unpredictable path of grief. Feder shares her experience of navigating death with beauty and raw honesty. The powder soft pinks used in the illustrations celebrate Feder’s memory of Rhonda and emphasize Tyler’s youth. The chapters end with illustrated tips, lists, and other quirky yet informative extras.

The memoir is a tribute to a beloved woman as well as a meditation on losing a parent when one is teetering between childhood and adulthood. Much like grief itself, the book careens from deep despair to humor to poignancy, fear, remorse, and anger, mirroring the emotional disorientation that comes with such a significant death. By sharing many particulars about her mother—the foods she loved and hated, the silly in-jokes, her endearing (and annoying) quirks—Feder personalizes her loss in a way that will resonate with members of the “Dead Moms Club,” with whom she describes having an immediate bond.

Please note the tips Tyler shares when you personally encounter a situation like this... don’t ask how you can help, just do it anyway... Don’t say I know how you feel unless you’ve been through a much similar situation... don’t go into a litany of your own life and sorrows...

Grieving teens will find incredible solace in Feder’s story; all readers will be stirred by this wrenching yet uplifting musing.

Graphic memoir. 12-adult
Show Less
LibraryThing member ecataldi
What a poignant heartfelt book. Unlike anything else out there; the graphic novel is a memoir of loss. One girl trying to come to terms with the loss of her mom, the anger, the platitudes, the awkwardness, the sadness is all brilliantly captured through comic art. Funny, moving, and exceptionally
Show More
deep and nuanced. Sometimes you need to let it all out and this book perfectly captures what it's like to suffer the loss of a parent. Even if you're lucky enough not to have lost one, reading this can help how you interact with friends and loved ones as they're coping with loss. An absolutely exceptional read!
Show Less
LibraryThing member reader1009
graphic nonfiction/memoir (grief - losing mother to cancer at age 19)
well done and sad, but not too sad. Also a good read for people trying to comfort people who are grieving.
LibraryThing member oldandnewbooksmell
Dancing at the Pity Party is a graphic memoir from Tyler Feder about her life as a motherless daughter. From before her mother's oncology appointment, through the stages of cancer, her death and funeral, sitting shiva, and afterwards, Feder shares about losing her mother to cancer. She tells about
Show More
all the important "firsts" - first holiday without her mom, the first birthday celebrated without her mom, even the start of new traditions in honor of her mom.

I teared up a lot in this book. I had an Aunt I was super close to that passed away from breast cancer when I was younger and I only remember bits and pieces of her battle before she passed. But I can always remember her humor and how we used to cuddle a lot in her bed and I would run my fingers up and down her arm she would get chemo in. My cousin was her only daughter and I thought a lot about her when I read this.

I also lost a Father in a work related accident when I was 12. A lot of the things the author mentions about the grieving process really hit me hard. There's a part where Feder talks about the guilt she had for being the oldest and therefore having her Mom around longer than her younger sisters. I'm a middle child and I have never felt that way about my older sister, who is 6 years older. She had just started college a few days before the accident. That part opened my eyes a bit to what my sister may possibly have felt during those milestones my younger sister and I hit that Dad was around for, for hers but not ours.

I really enjoyed the art of this book - regardless of the topic, the art made me smile a lot. Feder has a talent at finding the funny even in a dark time.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with a loss, and even those who have been through it. It reminds you what to remember again. By the end of the novel I felt at peace remembering both my Aunt and my Dad.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bookedinsideout
A beautiful memoir on the loneliness of grief and how it can be made a little less lonely when we know that other people have experienced those same or similar emotions. None of us are immune from the loss of people we love, but we can feel more normal and understood when others share their own
Show More
stories. I think her “Dos and Don’ts for dealing with a grieving person” list should be tacked up in funeral homes and spread everywhere.

“Long before my mom ever got sick, her death felt like the number one scariest thing that could ever happen. And then it happened. And it was the scariest thing that could ever happen. But I survived.”
Show Less
LibraryThing member jennybeast
Combines the moving story of Tyler Feder's Mom's early death with a helpful, personal guide to navigating grief. The book feels emotionally true and raw and honest. Beautiful and sad and funny and hard and kind.
LibraryThing member Juva
A beautiful, truthful and very intimate memoir about sudden death and the prolonged (and unique) grieving process. The author's mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer when she was a freshman in college. She was dead within the year. The author unflinchingly walks the reader through the most
Show More
painful moments of her life and relates all of her suffering with generous honesty. This book is moving, deeply moving and is a lovely tribute to a obviously very amazing woman.

Those who have suffered a loss will find it comforting, reassuring, and hopeful. Those who have yet to experience a close loss will have an honest preview and receive extremely useful tips for comforting those who have been bereaved. This is a very important book for everyone to read and there really should be many more like it. It was an honor to read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ewyatt
Tyler's mom was diagnosed with cancer during the summer after her freshman year at college. It progresses quickly and by spring break of sophomore year her mom has died. The book shares memories of her mom and the grieving process of her family. Losing her mom at 19 left big marks on her life. It's
Show More
funny, poignant and heart-felt. The book also manages to give advice for how to interact with those who have lost a loved one.
Show Less


Original language


Physical description

208 p.; 9.27 inches


0525553029 / 9780525553021
Page: 0.1594 seconds