David Small’s Stitches: Piecing Together a Past for a Future

Posted by on December 23rd, 2009 at 10:00 AM

David Small; Norton; 336 pp., $24.95; B&W, Hardcover; ISBN:  978039306857


Everyone is familiar with Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s  novel for that chronicles the adventures of its main character through a magical land.  By the novel’s end, Alice awakens and wonders whether or not those experiences ever happened.  For renown children’s illustrator David Small—Eulalie and the Hopping Head, So You Want to Be President? and The UnderneathAlice in Wonderland provides inspiration for his imagination.  Additionally, Carroll’s classic represents to Small some effective parallels to his own life.  He too was ruled by a tyrannical “queen” (his physically ill and enraged mother), was transported by stories to another world, and was challenged to return to normal life.  In Stitches, his first adult-themed graphic work (as memoir), Small chronicles his childhood and early adolescence adventures in another “wonderland”:  Detroit, Michigan in the 1950s through the early 1960s.  Like Alice, Small emerges from his fantasyland to become a stronger person.  By sharing this story, readers can find our own strength to emerge out of any “rabbit hole.”

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