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A Memoir
Small, David (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Item Details

One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die.In Stitches, Small, the award-winning children's illustrator and author, re-creates this terrifying event in a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. As the images painfully tumble out, one by one, we gain a ringside seat at a gothic family drama where David--a highly anxious yet supremely talented child--all too often became the unwitting object of his parents' buried frustration and rage.Believing that they were trying to do their best, David's parents did just the reverse. Edward Small, a Detroit physician, who vented his own anger by hitting a punching bag, was convinced that he could cure his young son's respiratory problems with heavy doses of radiation, possibly causing David's cancer. Elizabeth, David's mother, tyrannically stingy and excessively scolding, ran the Small household under a cone of silence where emotions, especially her own, were hidden.Depicting this coming-of-age story with dazzling, kaleidoscopic images that turn nightmare into fairy tale, Small tells us of his journey from sickly child to cancer patient, to the troubled teen whose risky decision to run away from home at sixteen--with nothing more than the dream of becoming an artist--will resonate as the ultimate survival statement.A silent movie masquerading as a book, Stitches renders a broken world suddenly seamless and beautiful again. Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award (Young Adult); finalist for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (Best Writer/Artist: Nonfiction; Best Reality-Based Work).
Authors: Small, David, 1945-
Title: Stitches
a memoir
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 329 p. :,chiefly ill. ;,24 cm.
ISBN: 0393068579
Statement of Responsibility: David Small
Subject Headings: Children's stories Authorship Comic books, strips, etc. Children's stories Illustrations Comic books, strips, etc. Artists United States Biography Comic books, strips, etc. Authors, American 20th century Biography Comic books, strips, etc. Small, David, 1945- Comic books, strips, etc.
Genre/Form: Autobiography.
Graphic novels.
Topical Term: Children's stories
Children's stories
Authors, American
LCCN: 2009022526
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May 19, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

In David Small's house no one talks about issues. They manifest in certain ways but words are never really used. Father is absent, mother slams doors and coughs, David draws and does other things to act out. This intensifies when an operation leaves him essentially mute. Of course no one tells him why the operation had to happen in the first place. He finds that out later and then sits on it for a good long while.

In stark black and white, and grey, David's family life is sketched out and even at the end there is quite a lot unspoken. Even considering the point of view of a child being used.

Jan 20, 2014
  • joywolf83 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

the picture form really told the story. i thought it was powerful in the use of comic. good autobiography with strong points of interest.

Apr 27, 2013
  • VahiniG rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I just heard of David Small, from watching a documentary on children's literature. This was a great graphic novel. So easy to read and left me wanting more!

Apr 05, 2013
  • JCLBethanyT rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

David Small demonstrates the power of graphic fiction in this meditation on family, illness and voicelessness. Readers who enjoy Alison Bechdel's graphic fiction exploring familial dysfunction will love this National Book Award Finalist.

Jul 22, 2012
  • TheMadTabby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A memoir of a dysfunctional childhood, very disturbing but very honest. Emotionally heart wrenching, Small's childhood will disturb some people. Unfortunately too many people grow up in families like this.

Jul 03, 2012
  • emkeller rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Small packs a ton of emotion into this memoir. A sad, sometimes awful look into the pain that parents can channel to their children.

Jul 04, 2011
  • Zewy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Read *Stitches*, by David Small. Heartbreaking graphic novel (more pictures than words, but still I consider it having been "read.") This man is such a genius with his scraggedy lines and half-drawn figures.... just beautiful and poignant. (If you have not read it, his graphic novel Blankets is much the same!)

Jun 03, 2011
  • mjs42ken rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

new comment

Jun 02, 2011
  • damnmagpie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

For any teenager or adult who's been through medical procedures, should not read this unless they are well out of the hospital! A good look at a disfunctional family and reconciliation of sorts. I plan to follow this graphic novel up with psychicatric tales (also a graphic novel). For people who feel they have no voice.

Apr 05, 2011
  • ChocolateChips rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Stitches is one of those books that makes you uncomfortable every second you read it--which is the main thing I liked about it. Small does a great job of telling a creepy, creepy story with great economy of language. The silent frames in Stitches give it an almost cinematic quality. All in all, great stuff.

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Jul 22, 2012
  • TheMadTabby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

TheMadTabby thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Nov 21, 2011
  • marishkajuko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Apr 05, 2011
  • ChocolateChips rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

ChocolateChips thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 26, 2010
  • seaspirit rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

seaspirit thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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