David Small presents Home After Dark

Artist, Caldecott Medal winner and graphic novelist David Small returns to Book Beat to present his latest book Home After Dark, on Saturday, November 10th at 6:30 PM. The Book Beat is located at 26010 Greenfield, Oak Park, MI 48237, Call (248) 968-1190 for more information or to reserve books.

“In Home After Dark Small captures that unwieldy underbelly of suburban life, where the houses contain dysfunction and the children take those lessons to fields and forests of their neighborhoods, acting out what their home life has taught them and inflicting it on each other.” — Comic’s Beat

“In depicting the toll of the harsh environment surrounding these lost boys, Small unearths an (almost) impossible tenderness.” —Publisher’s Weekly starred review

“A stunning piece of work that clearly and thoughtfully examines that nebulous period between the innocence of sheltered adolescence and the sometimes cold realities of adulthood.” — BAD FEELING Magazine

David Small’s long-awaited graphic novel is a savage portrayal of male adolescence gone awry like no other work of recent fiction or film.

Wildly kaleidoscopic and furiously cinematic, Home After Dark is a literary tour-de-force that renders the brutality of adolescence in the so-called nostalgic 1950s, evoking such classics as The Lord of the Flies. Thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt, abandoned by his mother, follows his father to sun-splashed California in search of a dream. Suddenly forced to fend for himself, Russell struggles to survive in Marshfield, a dilapidated town haunted by a sadistic animal killer and a ring of malicious boys who bully Russell for being “queer.” Rescued from his booze-swilling father by Wen and Jian Mah, a Chinese immigrant couple who long for a child, Russell betrays their generosity by running away with their restaurant’s proceeds. Told almost entirely through thousands of spliced images, once again “employ[ing] angled shots and silent montages worthy of Alfred Hitchcock” (Washington Post, on Stitches), Home After Dark becomes a new form of literature in this shocking graphic interpretation of cinema verité.

“When all is said and done, and in a general sense, Stitches is a warning about wrongheaded family traditions. I see my own family as this long, long conga line of people, all doing the same dance, generation after generation, everyone abusing the person ahead in the same ways they were abused by those behind them.” —World Literature Today, David Small interview

Author Sarah Stewart with her husband illustrator David Small.

David Small was born and raised in Detroit. In school he became known as “the kid who could draw good,” but David never considered a career in art because it was so easy for him. At 21, after many years of writing plays, David took the advice of a friend who informed him that the doodles he made on the telephone pad were better than anything he had ever written. He switched his major to Art and never looked back. After getting his MFA at the Yale Graduate School of Art, David taught art for many years on the college level, ran a film series, and made satirical sketches for campus newspapers.

Recognition for David’s books include The Caldecott Medal (So You Want To Be President?, 2001), The Caldecott Honor (The Gardener, 1998), National Book Award Finalist (Stitches, 2009 and The Underneath, 2008), Christopher Award (That Book Woman, 2009 and The Gardener, 1998), ABBY Award Honor Book (The Gardener, 1997 and The Library, 1995), The New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year (The Library, 1995), and a Featured Selection for more than 10 years on Reading Rainbow (Imogene’s Antlers, 1985).

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