Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stitches: A Memoir

David Small was born with breathing problems. As a child, he was treated by his father, the radiologist, with x-rays to help his asthma back before doctors realized the danger in radiation exposure. A growth developed on his neck and was left untreated for many years. When he finally went in for a simple operation to remove the growth, he ended up having two operations and leaving the hospital without one of his vocal cords. David was forced into a world of silcence where he screamed to try and make his voice heard. Turns out, his father had unintentionally given David cancer with his x-ray treatment. What made things worse is neither his father or mother wanted to admit that David had cancer. 

This is a beautifully drawn story in black and white images. David Small's parents were out of touch, almost cruel. To a child needing love and attention, they were cruel and unloving. Small recreates these feelings and expressions perfectly on the page. In simple pictures, he manages to convey his feelings to the reader. He makes the scar from the surgery seem huge and domineering and scary.

This was a moving novel.  Although it wasn't told in the traditional manner, I can't imagine David Small's autobiography being told any other way. A definite must read.

Book Three in the Graphic Novels Challenge.


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