THE ART OF “A KISS BEFORE YOU GO”
Much has been written about Danny Gregory’s new memoir, “A Kiss Before You Go”. The book is a powerful account of grief and mourning in the year following the death of Gregory’s wife Patti. The book has won acclaim in numerous reviews and has been cited as one of the top books in its category by Oprah Winfrey. But not enough has been written about the book’s graphics and their artistic achievement. This is understandable in a way: Gregory’s poignant narrative is so compelling, that it is the focus for the reader. But anyone interested in art journaling should take a careful look at these accomplished drawings, and the seamless way in which they are integrated with the text. Here are two examples of this. The first is a riff on Hokusai’s iconic “Great Wave”. Gregory uses this image as a metaphor for the waves of intense emotion which can be overwhelming in dealing with grief. The second image of a church on a black background has a more subtle connection to the narrative, an anecdote about the potential for people to atrophy, socially, in solitude. Both images have a tone of urgent spontaneity, yet both renderings are obviously grounded in an impressive technical mastery of draftsmanship and color control from a leading exponent of the art journal form. Click here to see an enlargement of these pages: http://bit.ly/UPY62O
Joy Corcoran has written a lovely and thoughtful review of my book. If you are on the fence about buying a copy, this might tip you into your local bookshop.
The Oprah bookclub has just published the list of her reccos for best memoirs.
And a Kiss B4U Go is the cover pick! (alongside other amazing authors like RIchard Russo and Jeannette Winterson…)
Wow! Happy New Year!
P.S. A favor: There’s a really nice review of the book and I’m sure it would be helpful if people who come up on it knew others had read it too, so please, feel free to comment on it too and share your experience of the book. The more the merrier!
I sit in the Hong Kong airport, and, somewhat hesitantly, open the folder of my photos of Patti. In the past, I avoided looking at these pictures unless I was willing to lose it, even wanted to lose it. I take a breath and I flip through the vacation pictures, the birthdays, Patti playing with Jack at three, at ten, at fifteen, hugging the dogs, hugging me.I feel a smile grow, seeing my love, my friend as she was, as she is, full of warmth and fun, all good memories, not sad or heartbreaking but there in me, warming me, keeping me company so far from home, just like she always has. I miss her like I would have done on long journeys past, thinking of how she would feel about what I’m doing now, what she would have thought of the curried noodle chicken soup I had at the airport cafeteria. “Ew, sounds goobery, honey,” she would have said. “Hurry home. I miss you.”I miss you too, Pandy, I miss you a lot, but the thought of you deep inside me will help me keep on, keep happy, keep living. Our love is forever, no matter what happens, and now I feel like I might just cry, here in the Hong Kong flight club.