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When David Lost His Voice

By Judith Vanistendael

Translated by Nora Mahony

Hardback, 280 pp, $24.95

The moment his granddaughter Louise is born, David learns that he has cancer. But words were never his forte, and he'd rather keep quiet about his illness, the pain and the end that awaits him – much to the frustration of the women in his life. They wait, powerless, for the silent but inexorable end.

Nominated for an Eisner Award in 2014, When David Lost His Voice is a deft portrayal of a family preparing for life after loss – at once bleak and beautiful, heartbreaking and profound.

Judith Vanistendael

Born in 1974, Judith Vanistendael is a Belgian comics author and illustrator. She studied at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin and at the University of Ghent, before focusing on Latin America as a postgraduate. She is also a graduate of the comic strip course at the Sint Lukas art school in Brussels. Her graphic novels include the Eisner Award-nominated When David Lost His Voice and the semi-autobiographical Dance by the Light of the Moon, which was nominated for the prestigious Angoulême Grand Prize and has been translated into several languages. She lives in Brussels, Belgium.


"An outstanding testimony... big, bleak, brilliant and stark."
— The Economist
"Especially poignant... These beautiful images convey the young girl's fear of abandonment and her imaginative means of sustaining her attachment."
— New York Times
"Neither sentimental nor cynical, this narrative holds the most delicate aspects of family life gently and openly for readers to immerse themselves."
— Booklist