Amy Wilder's Reviews > Stitches: A Memoir

Stitches by David Small
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Aug 22, 11

Read on August 06, 2011

I bought this because my nephew has shown an inclination towards graphic novels. But then I happened to be waiting for a plane to arrive so I started to read. What unfolded was an unusual but true story of an unhappy childhood, vividly depicted in the imaginative drawings and spartan words of the man who survived it. Think of it as David Sedaris with drawing taking the place of the dry, biting wit - it's the means to escape from the pain of childhood that becomes the genius of the adult. You marvel at how something so admirable can come from such suffering - like a tree twisted tree that clings to a cliff it's tortured - and beautiful.

I know that at this point in history it's patronizing to talk about graphic novels as if they needed special validation to be worthy of serious attention - they are at least as worthy of attention as any other form of novel. But graphic non-fiction is still a bit cutting edge and I feel the need to add my vote - it's wonderful.

A compelling autobiography that can be read in one sitting. Intense, complex, nuanced and beautiful. It's proof of the power of this genre.

I put it down and felt that I had been on the journey of his life with him, and I wanted to read more non-fiction like this.

If any old picture is worth a thousand words, some of Small's are worth ten times that.
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