Imagine Wanting Only This
Imagine Wanting Only This is a haunting graphic memoir about leaving, and those left behind.
After the sudden death of a beloved uncle, Kristen becomes obsessed with abandoned places – derelict Midwestern mining towns, an Icelandic village preserved in volcanic ash, Cambodian temples reclaimed by jungle. At the same time, she examines what it means to be an artist, to be hungry for the next experience, to be always in transit.
Beautifully illustrated in black and white, Imagine Wanting Only This confirms Kristen Radtke as an important new voice in the comics world.
Writer, illustrator, and editor Radtke's graphic memoir does something difficult within just a few minimally designed, emotional pages: she transforms the over-studied experience of being a talented artist stuck in that yearning gulf between college's purpose and life's demands into something unique and thuddingly real. * Publishers Weekly * Kristen Radtke leads us through a bleak and beautifully crafted story of heart and heartbreak - creation, connection, decay, and loss. Imagine Wanting Only This is challenging and inspiring. -- Ellen Forney, New York Times bestselling author of MARBLES Radtke's life - and the way she beautifully elevates her deeply personal experiences into universal lessons - makes for brilliant, compelling, unforgettable art. * Bustle * In her exquisitely soul-, mind-, and heart-shattering debut graphic memoir, Kristen Radtke explores life's big questions surrounding grief, mortality, and the impermanence of the things - and the people - we love most. * Nylon * This memoir's realisation of urgency expresses itself in human beings' silence, which might frustrate readers of prose memoir. But here it is an opportunity for Radtke's readers to focus, stare, wonder - to remain within urgency itself... This is a riveting use of memoir. -- Sarah Heston * Los Angeles Review of Books * A stunning, honest meditation on loss... Radtke's book is enchanting. * Huffington Post * With elegant writing and arresting drawings, Kristen Radtke's Imagine Wanting Only This...grapple[s] with the limits of how much understanding our past can help us comprehend our present... She is a master of silhouette and shadow, of negative space, evoking a sense of potent isolation. * Boston Globe * One of the most haunting graphic memoirs I've ever read... As we turn the pages on [Radtke's] journey, we are ravaged and ravished. There is a proud tradition of graphic memoirists - of those dually equipped to wield word and image - to tell the true and deeply considered story of a life. Alison Bechdel, Roz Chast, Riad Sattouf, David Small, Marjane Satrapi, Art Spiegelman and others have done it searingly well. Add now to that list Radtke, who proves herself an equal among equals with this debut book. * Chicago Tribune * Remarkable...a breathtaking mix of prose and illustration. * Atlantic * [Radtke is] a master of both prose narrative and visual art... In a way, what she has done in this impressive book is to revive the dead and recover the lost while illuminating a world in flux, in which change is the only constant. Powerfully illustrated and incisively written - a subtle dazzler of a debut. * Kirkus * [Radtke's] writing is never less than lovely, and her black-and-white drawings are masterfully eloquent: at once vivid and faded. Think Shelley's "Ozymandias", with light top notes of Alison Bechdel and Adrian Tomine. -- Rachel Cooke * Guardian **Graphic Novel of the Month** * Brilliant... The book is a family drama, youthful romance, obsessive adventure, and karmic inquiry wrapped in a coming-of-age tale. [Radtke's] thumbnail history of left-behind people and places, and a wondrous panel-by-panel archive of the interplay between her rapacious intellect and her expansive imagination. -- Elle The most beautiful graphic novel you'll read all year, Kristen Radtke's memoir is an absolutely stunning look at what it is to recover from grief, and is so haunting you'll be thinking about it for days after reading it... At once narrative and factual, historical and personal, Radtke's stunning illustrations and piercing text never shy away from the big questions: Why are we here, and what will we leave behind? * Newsweek * Radtke is, first and foremost, a superhuman of illustration, a grandmaster like Adrian Tomine or Chris Ware. * New York Times Book Review *
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