Additional Book Information
Series: New York Review Comics
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
The Tenderness of Stones
by Marion Fayolle, translated from the French by Geoffrey Brock
“We buried one of dad’s lungs,” announces the narrator of The Tenderness of Stones. The lung is so large it takes three men to carry it—and that is just the beginning. The family looks on as, under the dispassionate orders of anonymous white-clad strangers, their father is disassembled, piece by piece: His nose is removed from his face and tied, temporarily, to his neck; his other lung is pulled out and he is forced to lug it around in a cart; his mouth is pried off and stored away, leaving him mute. Beneath it all is one devastating truth: Soon, he will be gone entirely.
Marion Fayolle is one of the most innovative young artists in contemporary comics, and in this startling, gorgeously drawn fable she offers a vision of family illness and grief that is by turns playful and profound, literal and lyrical. She captures the strange swirl of love, resentment, grief, and humor that comes as we watch a loved one transformed before our eyes, and learn to live without them.
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Fayolle’s picture book panels teem with emotive hatching and cross-hatching, and wordless sequences swell with pathos, perched over cursive lettering by Dean Sudarsky, much like an illustrated, fantastical diary. Fayolle’s visual storytelling makes a profound statement about how people attempt to understand and respond to the process of watching a loved one being eroded and to accepting their mortality.