Stitches a memoir by david small

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stitches a memoir by david small

Stitches by David Small

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 statemen.
File Name: stitches a memoir by david small.zip
Size: 10186 Kb
Published 28.07.2019

An Extended Preview of David Small's HOME AFTER DARK

Book Review: Stitches: a memoir by David Small

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, recreates 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, as most parents do, that they were trying to do the best, David's parents, in fact, did just the reverse: Edward Small, a Detroit physician, who vented his own anger by hitting a punching bag in the family's basement, was convinced that he could cure his little son by shooting him up with heavy doses of radiation, yet with near deadly results; while David's mother, Elizabeth, a tyrannically stingy and excessively scolding parent, 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 render nightmare in a form that becomes a fairytale in itself, Small tells us of his journey from sickly child, to cancer patient, to troubled teen, whose risky decision to run away from home at 16 — with nothing more than the dream of becoming an artist — would become the ultimate survival statement.

It is one thing for an artist to credit his career choice to an unhappy youth in which opportunities for self-expression were perpetually stifled, and quite another for an artist to say that his parents literally took his voice from him. Roughly a half century ago, when Mr. Small was 14, he underwent an operation his parents told him was to remove a cyst in his neck but which he discovered by chance had been throat cancer. The surgery left him without one of his vocal cords or his thyroid gland. His father, an aloof and withholding radiologist, attempted to unburden himself of the knowledge that the extensive radiation treatments he had performed on his son had caused the cancer.

Stitches begins with six-year-old David Small drawing pictures in his living-room floor in Detroit in Drawing is one of his two ways of expressing himself in an uncommunicative family—the other is getting sick. David's dad is a radiologist whose home medical treatments include injections, enemas, and chiropractic adjustments. The most damaging "medicine" he uses to treat his son's asthma is X-rays, which he administers at the hospital where he works. David survives an early childhood punctuated by parental neglect and a scene of outright abuse by his mentally ill grandmother.

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5 thoughts on “Stitches by David Small

  1. STITCHES is aptly named with creepy book cover and illustrations to match dipicting a horror of a family and a sad child turned troubled teen.

  2. In this profound and moving memoir, Small, an award-winning children's book illustrator, uses his drawings to depict the consciousness of a young boy.

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