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Mac's Backs Comix Happy Hour discusses Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke.

A gorgeous graphic memoir about loss, love, and confronting grief. 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?

KRISTEN RADTKE is the managing editor of Sarabande Books and the film and video editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She lives in New York.

"This delicate, multi-layered mediation on memory, loss and the allure of abandoned spaces is an astonishingly sure-footed first work.... Radtke's clear and earnest linework adds a dimension that elevates it above the standard 'young person's memoir' genre, while bringing the narrative strengths of contemporary literary non-fiction to the graphic novel format." -- Forbes

"Radtke is, first and foremost, a superhuman of illustration, a grandmaster like Adrian Tomine or Chris Ware. . . . Close-ups of hands and faces alternate with expansive landscapes painted in delicate shades of gray, a ray from a flashlight pierces the night, birds swoop up into the sky in silhouette, a ceiling fan morphs into an airplane in the eyes of an insomniac. Not a line is out of place in these drawings, as they depict contemporary reality with uncanny precision. . . . As Radtke attempts to engage with an immense idea that is beyond most people's grasp--how to live when all things come to an end?--what ultimately emerges is a portrait of a powerful mind grappling with alienation and loneliness." --Anya Ulinich, The New York Times Book Review

The book is available at Mac's Backs or through our website,, at the 20% book club discount.

Event date: 
Friday, July 5, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
1820 Coventry Rd.
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Imagine Wanting Only This (Pantheon Graphic Library) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101870839
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - April 18th, 2017