When David Lost His Voice

Overview


  The doctor’s report is final: David has cancer. Now the whole family is under the same terrible verdict. David’s wife becomes progressively consumed by the looming shadow of death while his daughters struggle to be as helpful as possible. Meanwhile, David soldiers on, not wanting the tumor to rob him of everything, including the chance to see his granddaughter grow up.
Vanistendael’s extraordinary art and sensitive text provide a powerful portrayal of a family preparing ...
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Overview


  The doctor’s report is final: David has cancer. Now the whole family is under the same terrible verdict. David’s wife becomes progressively consumed by the looming shadow of death while his daughters struggle to be as helpful as possible. Meanwhile, David soldiers on, not wanting the tumor to rob him of everything, including the chance to see his granddaughter grow up.
Vanistendael’s extraordinary art and sensitive text provide a powerful portrayal of a family preparing for life after unimaginable loss.

Praise for When David Lost His Voice:

“Neither sentimental nor cynical, this narrative holds the most delicate aspects of family life gently and openly for readers to immerse themselves.” —Booklist

“Vanistendael’s illustrations are gorgeous, dynamic, and deeply emotive, with a hint of sentimentality.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The sensitive and compelling writing is enhanced by Vanistendael’s color art, which is simple, impressionistic, and beautifully designed.” —Library Journal

"A poignant cancer drama" - The A.V. Club

“Vanistendael’s fine art is dazzling, breathtaking, and a visual tour de force, one of the best things I’ve seen in a graphic novel.” The Miami Herald

“Vanistendael achieves that rare triumph of capturing in the end of a life the wonder of every day that led up to it.” —Salon.com

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There is something quite powerful about a nearly 300-page graphic novel that can tell a tale of grief and loss with such economy of narrative. When David’s doctor and friend, Georg, informs him that he has stage-three cancer of the larynx, David’s first thought is of his nine-year old daughter, Tamar. How will she cope with the chemo and radiotherapy he must endure? How can she face the prospect of life without her father? In fact, all of the people in David’s life, including his second wife, Paula, and his elder daughter, Miriam, have to figure out how to deal with the inevitability and finality of what they’re confronted with. What is so touching about the narrative is how Vanistendael manages to show the different ways that people struggle loss while giving us profound insight into how deeply her characters care for one another. Of special fascination is how Tamar copes—and here the author shows a keen understanding of the mind of a child confronting the incomprehensible. Vanistendael’s illustrations are gorgeous, dynamic, and deeply emotive, with a hint of sentimentality. Anyone who has had to deal with the kind of loss explored here will be deeply moved by this story. (Mar.)
Library Journal
David and the three women in his life together face his cancer, a tumor of the larynx, in individual ways. His adult daughter, Miriam, who has an infant daughter of her own, helps with his care and keeps a matter-of-fact eye on everyone. Daughter Tamar, nine, adores David, buddying up with him on his annual sailing jaunts and, with her friend Max, dreams up fantastic schemes to save him. In case mummification isn't possible (the children practice on their toys), they think that maybe they could catch David's soul in a net. His artist wife Paula—Tamar's mother but not Miriam's—becomes deeply upset as David becomes sicker and more silent. Out of despair, she creates a large skeleton art piece from his X-rays. Meanwhile, David entertains fantasies of his old nanny returning as a sort of angel. The sensitive and compelling writing is enhanced by Vanistendael's color art, which is simple, impressionistic, and beautifully designed. VERDICT This worthy addition to the many excellent illness narratives already on library shelves will appeal to readers of domestic drama, those facing cancer in the family, and health-care professionals. Some nonsexual nudity.—M.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906838546
  • Publisher: SelfMadeHero
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 469,835
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Judith Vanistendael holds several art degrees. Her semi-autobiographical book, Dance by the Light of the Moon, was also published by SelfMadeHero and was nominated for two awards at Angoulême, including the grand prize. She lives in Brussels, Belgium.
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