Decodependence: A Romantic Tragicomic Paperback – October 17, 2023 by Lila Ash

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Author and New Yorker cartoonist Lila Ashs vulnerable and funny graphic memoir about her attempts to decode her life’s relationships through the lens of her recovering codependency.


Through her skillful, charming illustrations and a voice that is sardonic, vulnerable, and completely relatable, Lila Ash shares the all-too-well-known moments that she’s experienced navigating the world of family, love, and sex through the lens of codependency.

In her late twenties, Ash found herself reliving the relationship traumas of her past. She’d tried everything to help herself move on from painful memories, from therapy to drugs and more, before entering Codependents Anonymous (CoDA), where she discovered the characteristics of codependency–and checked off every box. Ash began drawing her way through her experiences, allowing herself to recognize the codependent behaviors that ruled her life, including:


  • How her desperation to get a boyfriend propelled her to be sexually active at summer camp as a young teenager (codependents often confuse sexual attention for approval or acceptance).
  • Having a crush on her guitar teacher only to later realize that he had ulterior motives (codependents struggle with setting and maintaining boundaries).
  • Accepting the role of personal assistant rather than girlfriend in her recent long-term relationship (codependents have trouble accepting when prospective love interests are unavailable).
  • And much more


Through unflinchingly honest (and sometimes sad or harrowing) stories, a wry sense of humor, and illustrations that masterfully set the book’s tone, Decodependence: A Romantic Tragicomic will resonate with readers who are looking to better understand their own potential codependent relationship behaviors, followers of Ash’s popular Instagram account, or fans of graphic novelists and cartoonists like Liana Finck, Aline Crumb, Emily Flake, Katy Fishell, Malaka Gharib, and Olivia de Recat.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Princeton Architectural Press (October 17, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 160 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1797223321
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1797223322
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.11 pounds

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