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Cover of By the Forces of Gravity by Rebecca Fish Ewan
June 2018
Books by Hippocampus

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By the Forces of Gravity

A Memoir
Rebecca Fish Ewan

Rebecca Fish Ewan’s illustrated coming-of-age memoir "By the Forces of Gravity" is told through drawings and free verse. Set in 1970s Berkeley, California, Rebecca’s story reflects on a childhood friendship cut short by tragedy. In an era of laissez-faire parenting, Rebecca drops out of elementary school and takes up residence in a kids commune — no parents allowed! — and we follow her, bestie Luna and their hippie cohorts as they search for love, acceptance and cosmic truths. Full of adventure and heartache, "By the Forces of Gravity" promises to pull you in.


Rebecca Fish Ewan earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Arizona State University in 2004. She is currently an associate professor of landscape architecture in ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Praise for this book

''Rebecca Fish Ewan has invented a wildly unique new genre that will transport you to a wildly unique time and place where love and experimentation reigned, children were intentionally left unparented and everyone, it seemed, spent their days chasing far-out trips. In this vividly magical and terrifying world, a once-in-a-lifetime friendship blooms between two girls. At turns utopian and tragic, 'By the Forces of Gravity' will forever change the way you think about love, childhood, the meaning of family and what it means to be fully alive.''

Ariel Gore
Author of "We Were Witches"

''Rebecca Fish Ewan's 'By the Forces of Gravity' is a visually and emotionally compelling coming-of-age memoir. Her inventive prose and picture narrative recreates the tumultuous counter-culture movement in Berkeley, California, capturing the intricate, psychedelic zeitgeist of the 1970s. Together, the drawings and text weave an intimate story of a young girl finding her soulmate and mentor as they search for cosmic consciousness. This free-verse comic takes us on an epic trip of alternative lifestyles, sex, drugs, rock and roll, loss and ultimately redemption.''

Chip Sullivan
Author of "Cartooning the Landscape"