Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Review: STITCHES: A Memoir - Paperback Edition
W.W. NORTON & COMPANY
AUTHOR: David Small
ISBN: 978-0-393-33896-6; paperback (September 13, 2010)
333pp, B&W, $15.95 US
In 2009, W.W. Norton & Company published STITCHES: A Memoir, a hardcover graphic novel from David Small. Small is an author and illustrator of children’s books, and he has won numerous awards, including the 2001 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in So You Want to be President? (written by Judith St. George).
Stitches is a recollection of David Small’s childhood and youth. The author, born in 1945 in Detroit, Michigan, challenges conventional notions of a tranquil 1950s by eschewing nostalgic storytelling. In this deeply personal tale, Small recounts a life spent in a house were free expression was forbidden. The family communicated in ways that were as loud as screaming: his mother, Elizabeth’s rage-filled movements and gestures; the sound of Edward, his father, hitting a punching bag in the basement as a way to blow off steam; and Ted, his older brother, loudly banging on drums in his room.
STITCHES: A Memoir is now in paperback, and readers can find my review of the first edition here: https://ireadsyou.blogspot.com/2009/09/stitches-is-one-of-years-best.html
Using his fluid drawing style with its loose, quirky line, Small weaves a story that looks into the history of his mother’s family and exhumes his own life within a nuclear family unit. Stitches is a deeply personal examination of the author’s evolution and his physical ailments and mental trials and tribulations. This is also a memoir in which Small recalls his life from the perspective of the child he was. It is simply a beautiful comic book, and I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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