JANET AND ME

by Stan Mack

(Simon & Schuster)

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Publishers Weekly (starred review):
Mack's tale of how his and Bode's easy companionship was derailed by Bode's breast cancer is unique for many reasons, but his improbably moving and downright funny illustrations drive this book right out of the crowded field of cancer memoirs. For instance, directly beneath his description of learning the initial diagnosis in a busy hospital corridor, Mack includes a sketch of the couple reeling in the wake of the rushed, insensitive surgeon. The flabbergasted looks on their faces speak volumes. Drawings of Mack and Bode's friends and caregivers appear alongside brackets containing each one's memories of the cancer's progression and how Bode coped with her increasingly bleak prognosis. This unusual technique gives everyone their own voice and, more importantly, it gives characters—especially Bode—a sense of life. Refreshingly, the dying patient never comes across as faultless; as one friend recalls, "My dear friend was dying and she was still giving me shit."

Joyce Johnson, The New York Times Book Review:
There's charm and warmth in Mack's style even when the content is grim, and you somehow feel his presence most poignantly in that very contradiction.

Jerome Groopman, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School:
Janet & Me is a poignant and inspiring story of love, loss, and unexpected gain, made all the more powerful by the elegant simplicity of the illustrations.

Margo Hammond, St. Petersburg Times:
Janet & Me is about caregiving, but only in the way that Moby-Dick is about whaling. ...Mack's memoir...offers much more about the human emotions involved in the tricky business of death and dying... .

Library Journal (starred review):
...[a] deeply touching memoir...and very effective prose/graphic hybrid. Highly recommended... .

Robert Ito, Los Angeles magazine:
What emerges is a story more sweet than sad and a picture of a woman not dying but living... .

Brad Zeller, Minneapolis Star Tribune:
[A] frank, bruising and devastatingly beautiful chronicle... .

Al Martinez, Los Angeles Times:
Janet & Me is a true story of caring so deep and compelling that one wants it to go on forever.

Charles Donelan, The Santa Barbara Independent:
Janet & Me is full of the most extraordinary strength and pathos, all conveyed with the characteristic wit and humility of a master artist at the height of his powers.

Ray Olson, Booklist:
...keeping vocabulary and syntax beautifully simple, and happily marrying text and drawing on every page, Mack surpasses himself as artist, writer and designer.

Paul Kleyman, AgeBeat Online:
This poignant tale speaks directly to the urban Boomer experience about tenderness and mortality.

 

 

 


Stan Mack 2009 | stan@stanmack.com
design: Mariana Serra | programming: Filipe Murteira