Dear Scarlet

A comic by Teresa Wong.

Teresa Wong

In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother's Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman's battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression. (From Arsenal Pulp Press)

Teresa Wong is a writer from Calgary, Alta. Dear Scarlet is her first book.

Why Teresa Wong wrote Dear Scarlet

"The idea for the memoir began when I was pregnant with my third child. I was going through the first trimester and was unable to sleep at night because I kept flashing back to the time that I had Scarlet. All these images kept flashing back in my mind. Some of them were so vivid that they made me cry. I thought, 'Well, I've got to do something with this. I need to get this story out of my head.' I'd had counselling and treatment for my postpartum depression, but this was the final piece of closure that I needed.

I've got to do something with this. I need to get this story out of my head.- Teresa Wong

"There's one scene where I just had Scarlet and I had a postpartum hemorrhage. A bunch of doctors and nurses ran into the room, but I didn't really see them — all I could see was my husband standing there, holding my baby and looking really scared. That's the image that was burned into my brain. I wanted to, I guess, honour that by drawing it the best that I could."

Read more in her interview with CBC Books.

From the book

An excerpt from Dear Scarlet by Teresa Wong. (Teresa Wong/Arsenal Pulp Press)

Interviews with Teresa Wong



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?