Imagine Wanting Only This

In a debut graphic memoir with striking black-and-white images, master illustrator and writer Kristen Radtke tells the evocative story of her family's rare genetic heart disorder, the sudden death of her beloved uncle, her travels around the world, and of love won and abandoned. Desolation, isolation and ruins are predominant images and themes in Imagine Wanting Only This, as Radtke visits empty mining towns that poisoned the environment, the decaying buildings in Gary, Ind., the killing fields of Cambodia and other derelict places that resonate with her sense of unrest. She is searching for significance in any and all of it.

Concrete, specific details in the text communicate volumes: "The tarnished pedals of a shattered organ lay in the corner, its broken keys like piles of pulled teeth." The beautiful illustrations depict scenes and people in highly defined yet not exaggerated detail. Many pages have no text, letting the drawings speak about the search for meaning in life and in love. Radtke's grief and sense of wanderlust are evident throughout, which creates a provocative force that pulls readers rapidly through the story to the end. But once the narrative is known, one needs to revisit each page and carefully study the drawings to appreciate fully the depth of Radtke's creative talents. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit