Thursday, August 27, 2009
Graphic novel fans might be interested in visiting Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast to read about illustrator David Small's new graphic novel memoir for teens and adults, Stitches, to be published by W.W. Norton & Company in early September. I've got the scoop over there, as well as some images from the book. As I wrote over there, I've tried to tell a few folks lately what the experience of reading Stitches was like, and I've found it hard to describe. "Extraordinary. Just....extraordinary" is what I find myself stammering.
Here's an excerpt of that post, which---I should warn readers---includes plot spoilers:
"At the age of eleven, when a growth on David's neck is spotted, it is diagnosed as a cyst by the family doctor, who recommends surgery. Three-and-a-half years after that diagnosis, David goes under, only to awaken with stitches on his neck and no voice. Trying entirely too hard to convince the mute David that everything will be allright, his father informs him there will be a second operation. David eventually goes home with a 'crusted black track of stitches; my smooth young throat slashed and laced back up like a bloody boot.' This is one of the book's many visually-arresting moments, David's stitches morphing---in a series of drawings---into the steps up which his belligerent mother is tromping to write a note. Later, David finds this note: 'Dear Mama, David has been home two weeks now. Of course the boy does not know it was cancer.'
I'm not making this up. I couldn't if I tried. Neither could David.
Psychologically traumatized by this revelation, David begins to fall apart. When confronting his parents with the truth, asking if they have anything to say to him, his parents respond, '...you didn't need to know anything then . . . and you don't need to know about it now. That's FINAL.'"
Again, here is the link to the post.