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Imagine Wanting Only This (Pantheon Books)
When Kristen Radtke was in college, the sudden death of a beloved uncle and, not long after his funeral, the sight of an abandoned mining town marked the beginning moments of a lifelong fascination with ruins and with people and places left behind. Over time, this fascination deepened until it triggered a journey around the world in search of ruined places. Now, in this genre-smashing graphic memoir, she leads us through deserted towns in the American Midwest, Italian villas, islands in the Philippines, New York City, and the delicate passageways of the human heart.
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?
Praise for Imagine Wanting Only This:
“Cities, ambitions, romances, and bodies come to ruin before our eyes, as Kristen Radtke invites us, in her beautifully understated way, to be disturbed, fascinated, and yes, even attracted to that ruin. A remarkable bildungsroman!” —Eula Biss, author of On Immunity
“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
“Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This doesn’t tell a single story but a chorus of histories, personal and familial and historical, and invents its own marvelous language for their telling—a language forged from interior thought and visual imagination, bringing together words and illustration in continually surprising and moving ways. The voice in these pages is eloquent in so many ways at once, like a shape that exists in three dimensions rather than two, and it’s utterly singular: visually alive, attentive to details, self-questioning and tender as it surveys variously haunted terrains of heart and landscape. Radtke’s world is so immersive, and so sensitively conjured, that once I entered the sketched chamber of her pages, I didn’t want to leave again—or even pause for breath—until I reached the end.” —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
"Riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect. In Kristen Radtke's hands, nonfiction becomes poetry. A tremendous achievement.” —Tom Hart, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rosalie Lightning
Kristen Radtke is a writer and illustrator based in Brooklyn. She is the managing editor of Sarabande Books and the film and video editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.
Photo by Greg Salvatori
Jordan Crane is an American comics creator and is noted for well-observed narratives that focus on the vulnerability and mystery of the human experience. Crane's immaculate sense of design, powerful cartooning, striking posters and objets d’art have had a profound effect on alternative comics and the way comics are perceived as an art form.
Winner of numerous awards and prizes in both design and comic industries, Crane first emerged in 1996 with the anthology NON, which he edited, contributed to, and published. His first novel, The Last Lonely Saturday, a simple but powerful tale of love and loss, demonstrated that Crane was an artist who had come into his own. Crane's most recent book, The Clouds Above, is a fast-paced children's story which follows the adventures of a boy named Simon and his large cat named Jack. They battle angry clouds, peevish birds and elude the grasp of an overbearing teacher, with the effect resonating somewhere between Where the Wild Things Are and The Wizard of Oz. Crane is currently working on a quarterly comic book called Uptight where he will present new short stories and serialize his sprawling, epic meditation on family, death, and the imagination called Keeping Two.