Home After Dark

(Author)
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Product Details
Price
$27.95  $25.99
Publisher
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
Pages
416
Dimensions
7.2 X 9.3 X 1.2 inches | 2.06 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780871403155
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

David Small

As a young artist I had many influences coming from some unexpected directions. My mother often took me to the art museum to expose me to culture, but at that time I felt little for the great European masters' works hanging in their gilt frames. However, in school we had taken a field trip to the automobile factories and when, at the museum, I saw a mural about the car industry painted by the Mexican artist Diego Rivera, life and art fused for me. I suddenly realized the very real power artists have to shape our vision of the world. Here was a painting that showed something I knew about, expressing feelings about the factories that I had felt, restating my emotions and giving them order and form. Perhaps it was at that moment -- standing before the great Rivera mural -- that I determined to work at my talent for drawing and to become an artist.

Another influence was the hospital where my father, a radiologist, worked in the X-ray department. Evenings, I would go with my mother in our car to pick my father up from work. Often he was still busy and we had to wait, so I wandered in and out of the X-ray rooms with their silent, mysterious machines, through the labs, the darkrooms, and the waiting room, where I talked with the patients. There, at an early age, I learned a lot about life and death and saw images of the living insides of the human body illuminated in the dark. Those ghostly, glowing, starkly beautiful images stayed with me. Later on, in college art classes, I jumped at the chance to study anatomy, to draw and give names to those shapes with which I was so familiar. For the other art students, anatomy was an abstraction and a bore, but for me it was exciting and very real.

A third strong influence was my grandmother's home in rural Indiana, where I spent my spring vacations as a boy. In those days -- before television -- we spent much of our time out of doors. In the hot afternoons I would wander through my grandmother's big garden, or run with a dog named Butch to the bottom of a pasture to hunt for woodchucks. We would rest for a time next to a cattle trough in the shade of some huge willow trees. After dark I followed my grandfather down a corridor of trees to the train depot and watched the steam locomotives roll in and roll out. Back home again, my brother and I caught fireflies in jars and tried to read by them, or we lay around on blankets on the lawn, talking for hours beneath the stars. I'm grateful that at least part of my childhood was lived without a television set. I feel lucky to have known the world as it was back then.

David Small grew up in Detroit, studied art and English at Wayne State University, and went on to complete graduate studies in art at Yale. After receiving his MFA degree, he taught at the State University of New York/ Fredonia College, Kalamazoo College, and the University of Michigan.

Mr. Small's illustrations have won him numerous awards, including a Caldecott Medal in 2001 and a Caldecott Honor in 1997. He has created over thirty books for children, has reviewed children's books for The New York Times, and was the final judge for the 1989 Parents' Choice Awards for Illustration. His editorial drawings regularly appear in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, and The Washington Post.

David Small and his wife, the writer Sarah Stewart, live in a historic house on a bend of the St. Joseph River in Michigan. They have an Airedale named Simon and a cat named Otis.
Reviews
A master graphic storyteller who has certainly captured male adolescence in 1950s America. Having to think about dodging high school bullies every day sure resonated with me! And Russell's sexual predicament was handled in a very original way.--Robert Crumb, author of The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
In Small's haunting coming-of-age tale, 13-year-old Russell Pruitt grows like a determined weed in the wake of masculinity so toxic it has literally killed a menagerie of pets in the small California town where he lives with his troubled father.... The story traffics in archetypes--the mean kid who frames the weirdo; the festering cruelty beneath the idyllic small-town facade--but never tips over into trite. With strikingly few words, Small tells Russell's story in close-ups of bullies' sneers and bird's-eye views of parking lots. Cats, dogs, lions, and other animals haunt Russell's waking life and his dreams, perhaps because he, too, fights tooth and claw to survive. In depicting the toll of the harsh environment surrounding these lost boys, Small unearths an (almost) impossible tenderness.--Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]
Veteran artist and illustrator Small turns a deeply focused lens onto the isolation, loneliness, and relentless cruelty of male adolescence in this immensely powerful new work. The dark narrative would be oppressive but for the unexpected kindness shown by a Chinese immigrant couple and several small, quietly profound moments of beauty. Drawn in Small's signature style, the narrative feels more like a series of sketches that capture the choices made by Russell and the people around him, snapshots of actions and consequences rather than a traditional narrative. The illustrations, limited to pen, ink, and washes done in a simple, loosely sketched style, convey the nuanced range of emotion of all things left unsaid. Spare and powerful, this is not to be missed.--Booklist [Starred Review]
Home After Dark is incredibly moving. David Small is among the most masterful storytellers alive today.--Gene Yang, author of Boxers and Saints