About this item

Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award and finalist for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: the prize-winning children's author depicts a childhood from hell in this searing yet redemptive graphic memoir. 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) .

About the Author

David Small

David Small was born and raised in Detroit. In school he became known as "the kid who could draw good." But he never considered a career in art because it was so easy for him. At 21, after he had spent many years writing plays, a friend informed David that the doodles he made on the telephone pad were better than anything he had ever written. David switched his major to Art and never looked back. After getting his MFA at the Yale Graduate School of Art, David taught art for many years at the college level.His first picture book, "Eulalie and the Hopping Head", was published in 1981. To date he has illustrated more than 50 picture books. His books have been translated into seven languages, made into DVDs, animated films and musicals, and have won many of the top awards accorded to illustration, including the 2001 Caldecott Medal, two Caldecott Honor Books, two Christopher Medals, and a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. His graphic memoir, "Stitches", about his problematic youth, published in September 2009, was a National Book Award Finalist, and named a Michigan Notable Book of the Year 2010. It also received the American Library Association's 2009 Alex Award, which is given to the best adult books published each year that are suitable for young readers.In 2015 David received Michigan Author Award. The award, which recognizes an outstanding published body of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or play script, has been given annually since 1992. A panel of judges representing Michigan librarians and the Michigan Center for the Book determines the recipient based on overall literary merit."Home After Dark", David's first graphic novel was published in September 2018. It was named a Best Graphic Novel of 2018 by The Guardian (London) , The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Amazon. It received starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, the Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews. In January 2019, "Home After Dark" was given an Alex Award. David Small and his wife, author Sarah Stewart, make their home in an 1833 manor house on a bend of the St. Joseph River in southwest Michigan. David's studio, an 1890 farmhouse overlooking the river, is just a short walk from home.

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