Stitches: A Memoir

Front Cover
McClelland & Stewart, Oct 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
95 Reviews
A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Best Book of the Year
An Amazon.com Top Ten Best Book of 2009
A Washington Post Book World’s Ten Best Book of the Year
A California Literary Review Best Book of 2009
An L.A. Times Top 25 Non-Fiction Book of 2009
An NPR Best Book of the Year, Best Memoir


With this stunning graphic memoir, David Small takes readers on an unforgettable journey into the dark heart of his tumultuous childhood in 1950s Detroit, in a coming-of-age tale like no other.

At the age of fourteen, David awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover his throat had been slashed and one of his vocal chords removed, leaving him a virtual mute. No one had told him that he had cancer and was expected to die. The resulting silence was in keeping with the atmosphere of secrecy and repressed frustration that pervaded the Small household and revealed itself in the slamming of cupboard doors, the thumping of a punching bag, the beating of a drum.

Believing that they were doing their best, David’s parents did just the reverse. David’s mother held the family emotionally hostage with her furious withdrawals, even as she kept her emotions hidden — including from herself. His father, rarely present, was a radiologist, and although David grew up looking at X-rays and drawing on X-ray paper, it would be years before he discovered the shocking consequences of his father’s faith in science.

A work of great bravery and humanity, Stitches is a gripping and ultimately redemptive story of a man’s struggle to understand the past and reclaim his voice.


From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JOlson724 - LibraryThing

Featuring a rugged animation style that conveys a great deal of feeling and emotion, Small has translated his difficult childhood to the page deftly, telling a sad Bildungsroman that began with a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mrs_McGreevy - LibraryThing

Award-winning picture book illustrator David Small tells the story of his childhood in graphic novel form, and what a story it is: oppressive silence, wordless fury, a radiologist father who treats ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

David Small is the recipient of the Caldecott Medal, a Christopher Medal, and the E. B. White Award for his work in picture books, which include Imogene’s Antlers, The Gardener, and So, You Want to Be President? He and his wife, the writer Sarah Stewart, live in Mendon, Michigan.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information