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In the sixth issue of GINSENG ROOTS, the stratification, planting, and growth cycles of the ginseng seed parallel the seasons of childhood. Ginseng berries are gathered in the last week of summer, just before school resumes and brings with it the awkward transitions of adolescence, sexuality, and friendship… or a parental decision to homeschool. Before planting, ginseng seeds are doused in bleach and fungicide—a purifying ritual of sorts—like baptism—which Craig and his siblings undergo to be cleansed of sin.
Craig Thompson is a cartoonist and the author of the award-winning books Blankets; Good-bye, Chunky Rice; and Habibi. He was born in Michigan in 1975, and grew up in a rural farming community in central Wisconsin. His graphic novel Blankets won numerous industry awards and has been published in nearly twenty languages. Thompson lives in Portland, Oregon.