by Andrea Dorfman
  • feminism
  • graphic-novel
  • memoir
  • movie-or-tv-tie-in

National Film Board of Canada Collection From the Emmy-nominated, PBS-aired animated short.

Flawed is a true story of self-acceptance, adapted from the Emmy-nominated film of the same name. In Flawed, author Andrea Dorfman tells the true story of how she falls head over heels for Dave, "the nicest guy in the world." But she is conflicted about her feelings for her new love. He's a plastic surgeon; she hates plastic surgery and its power to make people feel flawed. Dorfman joins Dave in the operating room to watch him fix a man's badly injured hand. She sees for herself the difference between plastic reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Dave truly is an artist. She knows she's falling in love. But when Dave performs a cosmetic surgery on a healthy boy so he won't be teased at school, Dorfman questions everything she thinks she loves about him. Her discomfort with Dave's decision to operate on the boy sends her on a journey of self-reflection that forces her to confront her own fears about the way she looks. She feels flawed. Dorfman's playful and colorful illustrations along with her deeply personal writing takes readers through the genesis of her self-image -- from the carefree days of her childhood to the gut-wrenching awkwardness of her adolescence, and beyond. When she realizes that her negative self-perception is stopping her from being happy, Dorfman makes the bold move to accept herself as she is -- imperfections and all. As Dorfman concludes, it's our flaws that make us extraordinary.

In the tradition of the NFB's creative and innovative storytelling on film comes the National Film Board of Canada Collection: a series of celebrated animated films, documentary films and media projects adapted for the printed page. Whether discovering a much-loved classic for the first time or interacting with a favorite film in a new and exciting way, readers will be delighted with the thought-provoking stories and inventive presentations of the National Film Board of Canada Collection.

To learn more about the film, visit: https://www.nfb.ca/film/flawed/.


Andrea Dorfman, author

Andrea Dorfman is an award-winning animator and filmmaker. Flawed, adapted from the Emmy-nominated film of the same name, is Dorfman's first authored book. Her video poem collaboration with poet Tanya Davis, How to Be Alone, has garnered more than eight million views on Facebook and was published in 2013. Dorfman lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia (with Dave).


  • This sweet and perceptive graphic memoir, based on Dorfman’s Emmy-nominated short film, explores how falling in love with a plastic surgeon forced Dorfman to face her own long-held belief that she was physically flawed. When she first meets Dave, she disdains “the fact that his job was to operate on perfectly healthy people in an attempt to make them ‘beautiful’ ” but begins to fall for him nonetheless, impressed that he treats people for injuries and for illnesses such as skin cancer. The cosmetic aspect of his career, however, still disturbs her. She reflects on her own negative self-image, which began as an adolescent when she fixated on the idea her nose is too big. One of her close friends gets a nose job on the first day of ninth grade, but Dorfman declines while still carrying her flawed self-image into adulthood. The affair with Dave becomes the ironic catalyst for reexamining her prejudices about her appearance, and reaching self-acceptance. Dorfman’s characters are drawn in a simple, almost childlike style, with short text in a picture book layout; her use of bright colors and decorative patterns in a flattened perspective may remind readers of works by Matisse. Dorfman’s whimsical portrayal will speak to any reader who struggles with body image. - Publishers Weekly , Publishers Weekly Link to review
  • Illustrated lessons in self-acceptance. Originally brought to life as a time-lapse film, Canadian animator Dorfman’s (How to Be Alone, 2013) memoir excels at tugging at the heartstrings as she shares key aspects of her being. The striking cover art, featuring a vivid, digitally rendered cartoonlike self-portrait of the author in profile — her nose prominently depicted with ruler lines — leaves little mystery as to the source of the Toronto native’s inner turmoil. Dorfman reveals that when she first met future love interest and plastic surgeon Dave, when housesitting one summer in Halifax, she had already decided she wouldn’t like him because it bothered her “that his job was to operate on perfectly healthy people in an attempt to make them ‘beautiful.’ ” But after finding herself irresistibly drawn back to their summer romance, the author suggested the two cultivate a long-distance relationship by sending each other handmade postcards. Expecting Dave to shy away from her artistic challenge, Dorfman’s prejudices against plastic surgery were shattered when he happily sent her an illustration of his day spent working on patients with skin cancer. Dave’s courage in expressing himself artistically (not to mention loving the author, nose ’n’ all) inspires Dorfman not only to rethink her judgment of his vocation, but eventually to re-evaluate her own sense of being flawed. Bold, funny, and brimming with emotional intelligence: a charming debut. (Graphic memoir. 12-adult) - Kirkus , Kirkus Link to review

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Firefly Books Ltd.

email: parisa.fireflybooks@gmail.com

website: https://www.fireflybooks.com/

rights sold: Italy

rights available: World

Additional Information

age range: 12 - Adult

number of pages: 88

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book

Additional Materials: Flawed, the movie