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Stitches : a memoir--

by David Small

  Print book  |  1st ed

Powerful art for a powerful story   (2009-09-29)


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by tiamatq

David Small draws you into his childhood, evoking the 50s and 60s and a household that represses and internalizes all feelings.  "Stitches" is the story of his childhood, of his mother, and of the growth on his neck that turns out to be cancer, resulting in the removal of one of his vocal chords and a horrific scar.  This book is brief - maybe an hour to read, but it sinks into you.  The art swirls and moves as if it were a film, and the awkwardness, tension, and sadness of Small's family is conveyed through the black, white, and gray-washed illustrations.  Certain themes crop up through the book - Small's fascination with Alice in Wonderland, a haunting discover in the pathology department of the hospital where his father worked, his escape into art throughout his childhood and into his teens, and the words that we say even when we are silent.  Small closes the book with further details of his family's history, particularly his mother's medical background. 

This is a powerful story, made more so by the format used to tell it.  For those looking for a complicated book on family relationships and finding your own voice, I would highly recommend this book.

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