Erin Williams is the author and illustrator of Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame and the co-author and illustrator of the Big Activity Book series. She has 10+ years experience in data analysis and scientific research. She lives in New York with her family.
COMMUTE: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame
An intimate, clever, and ultimately gut-wrenching graphic memoir about the daily decision women must make between being sexualized or being invisible
In Commute, we follow author and illustrator Erin Williams on her daily commute to and from work, punctuated by recollections of sexual encounters as well as memories of her battle with alcoholism, addiction, and recovery. As she moves through the world navigating banal, familiar, and sometimes uncomfortable interactions with the familiar-faced strangers she sees daily, Williams weaves together a riveting collection of flashbacks. Her recollections highlight the indefinable moments when lines are crossed and a woman must ask herself if the only way to avoid being objectified is to simply cease to draw any attention to her physical being. She delves into the gray space that lives between consent and assault and tenderly explores the complexity of the shame, guilt, vulnerability, and responsibility attached to both.
The Everybody Gets Anxious Activity Book
This thoughtful and fun activity book for children is inspired by the hysterical and hugely popular Big Activity Book for Anxious People. Written for kids or basically anyone who sometimes feels overwhelmed, angry, scared, nervous, or just plain icky—which is everyone. Really!
In this awesome, non-anxiety-inducing book, you’ll learn about where anxious feelings come from (evolution) and strategies, activities, and suggestions for how to handle them. For example, go on a scavenger hunt for comforting things around your house, or color in the rainbow of emotions! These activities are designed to help children explore their feelings in a way that helps them to understand anxiety is workable and can be transformed into something positive.
The Big Activity Book for Divorced People
Divorce is the worst. It’s also really, really common. When marriage was invented, people did not typically live past age thirty, which made “till death do us part” more doable. Part journal, part coloring book, part hilarious and on-point advice on how to move on, The Big Activity Book for Divorced People is an outlet for anyone who wants to laugh through the pain. After all, change can be pretty great (see: evolution).
The Big Activity Book for Digital Detox
Deep down, you know it’s true: you could benefit from disconnecting from the internet and reconnecting with the world around you. Part journal, part coloring book, part advice on how to take a break, The Big Activity Book for Digital Detox will be an outlet for anyone who wants to laugh through the ridiculousness of the digital age and remember how to be a human–because it’s definitely not going to happen when you’re awake at 1:00 a.m. reading yet another listicle.
THE BIG ACTIVITY BOOK FOR ANXIOUS PEOPLE
These days, anxiety is simply part of the human experience. Part journal, part coloring book, part weird coping mechanisms, and part compendium of soothing facts, The Big Activity Book for Anxious People will be an outlet for anyone who wants to take a break from reality, laugh through her fears, and realize with every page that she is not alone--and to help her figure out what to do when it's 3AM and she's wide awake worrying about whether she cc'ed the right "Bob" on that email. (Probably.)
THE BIG FAT ACTIVITY BOOK FOR PREGNANT PEOPLE
The ultimate must-have for any mom-to-be with a sense of humor: an irreverent, laugh-out-loud activity book filled with quizzes, mazes, fill-in-the-blanks, journaling pages, and hysterical musings on what pregnancy is really like.
SELECT PRESS FOR COMMUTE
"Williams does not shy away from her shame. She is also angry, and she knows she is not alone, and that brilliant anger is where the book becomes truly great. Her confidence—and literal straight gaze at the reader, full of vulnerability and challenge—makes this volume a critique, a lament, and a sigh. As Williams elegantly argues, many women need all three. This sharp and splendidly drawn memoir will strike a strong chord in the current moment. "
“One day’s commute offers time for the author to reflect on sexual predators, alcoholism, and the experiences she understands better now than she did at the time…A catharsis for the author that fits perfectly within a pivotal period for society and culture at large.”
"...[Williams] adds an eloquent voice to the chorus of stories testifying to the daily experiences of women under patriarchy. Commute is a book that really should be read by everyone."
“Williams is as unapologetic in this book as she is vulnerable, which makes for a unique, timely, and powerful read.”
– The Beat
“This is welcoming, soul-baring, stunningly interconnected, and very discussable.”
"Commute is a formidable, defiant statement of vulnerability leading to strength."
"[An] extraordinary graphic novel..."
– Ms. Magazine
"Williams's feelings of invalidation will make any woman with the same unspoken anxieties feel validated. About men, about makeup, about motherhood and relationships of oppression and relationships that support and, overall, the importance of women supporting women... Sink slowly into the story, and you'll probably laugh, cry, and understand Erin, yourself, and woman’s experiences in general more than you could have expected from a book you could probably read in one commute."
– Porchlight Books
– Mercedes Lubbers-Payne for Spine Magazine
– Shaenon Garrity for Publishers Weekly
Commute was long-listed for the 2019 Believer Book Award for Nonfiction
Publishers Weekly named Commute a Book of the Week, October 7, 2019
Book Riot called Commute a New Nonfiction Book Releases You Should Add To Your Nightstand
Bookpage included Commute in a roundup of the Most anticipated nonfiction for Fall, 2019
Kristen Radtke included Commute in this beautiful article about comics and shame
Pen and Tell Her Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival
– Tahneer Oksman for Women's Review of Books
Thursday, February 20, 2020
The Escape Panel: A Graphic Novel Series (Hosted by Michael Kupperman
Featuring readings by Gabrielle Bell, Erin Williams, Allison Conway, and Alex Degen)
Greenlight Bookstore, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Testify! Drawing Ourselves Whole (with Erin WIlliams, Kristen Radtke, Kat Verhoeven, and Diane Noomin)
Miami Book Fair, Magic Screening Room, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL
Sunday, September 22, 2019
We Need To Talk (with Erin Williams, Mira Jacob, Ebony Flowers, and Alexander Chee (moderator)
Brooklyn Book Festival, Brooklyn Historical Society Great Hall, Brooklyn
Adamson BJS, Cohen AB, Estevez M, Magee K, Williams E, Gross CP, Meropol NJ, Davidoff AJ. ACA and Medicaid Expansion Impact on Racial Disparity in Time to Cancer Treatment. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Jun 2019, 37(no. 18_suppl). DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2019.37.18_suppl.LBA1. [ASCO Plenary Session Presentation]
Adamson BJS, Cohen AB, Cheever MA, Hooley IJ, Williams E, Tymejczyk O, Peeples M, Hernandez M, Meropol NJ, Uldrick TS. Cancer Immunotherapy Use and Effectiveness in Real-World Patients Living with HIV. NCI International Conference on Malignancies in HIV/AIDS. 21 Oct 2019. Page 38, https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/organization/oham/hiv-aids-research/oham-research/international-conference/icmaoi-2019.pdf
Hooley I, Cohen A, Gross G, Williams E, Adamson B. Medicaid Expansion and Racial Inequities in Next Generation Sequencing Testing in Oncology. Value in Health. May 2019, Volume 22, Supplement 2, Page S93.
Maignan K, Backenroth D, McQuarrie N, Lipitz N, Williams E, Carson K. Real-World Disparities in Daratumumab Utilization for Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma (MM). Blood 2018 132:4734; doi: https://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2018-99-112153
Griffith SD, Miksad RA, Calkins G, You P, Lipitz NG, Bourla AB, Williams E, George DJ, Schrag D, Khozin S, Capra WB, Taylor MD, Abernethy AP. Characterizing the feasibility and performance of real-world tumor progression endpoints and their association with overall survival in a large advanced non-small cell lung cancer data set. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Aug 2019. doi: 10.1200/CCI.19.00013