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Building Stories
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Twelve years after he changed the history of comics with Jimmy Corrigan, a new graphic novel masterpiece by Chris Ware.

About the Author

Chris Ware lives in Oak Park, Chicago, Illinois. His books include Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, which won the Guardian First Book Award in 2001, Building Stories and most recently Monograph, which is part memoir, part retrospective of his career to date. He has won countless awards for his work and has been the subject of several museum exhibitions and scholarly monographs. His work appears regularly in the New Yorker.

Reviews

Ware provides one of the year's best arguments for the survival of print. In more than 200 pages spread over 14 separate printed works that include broadsheets, booklets, and full-sized books, Ware tells the visually stunning story of a nameless woman as she lives a quiet, frustrated life in Chicago. Ware gives voice not only to his nameless heroine but to the people who pass through and fill her life, peering in on the dysfunctional couple that lives below her, the wistful memories of the woman's ancient landlady, the old and crumbling building she lives in, and even the comedic blunderings of a bee named Branford, bringing together stories filled with grief, doubt, and self-loathing. Ware's paper archipelago can be read in any order, making his heroine's progression from single apartment life to dissatisfied motherhood in Oak Park, all the more personal, as if the reader is leafing through her memories, rather than following her linear story. Ware's artwork consistently overshadows his creation's anxieties, her frets and worries made even smaller and pettier by Ware's intricate and expansive art. But the spectacular, breathtaking visual splendor make this one of the year's standout graphic novels. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

There's nobody else doing anything in this medium that remotely approaches Ware for originality, plangency, complexity and exactitude. Astonishment is an entirely appropriate response. -- Sam Leith * Guardian *
A major moment in British cultural history. -- Christopher Frayling * Radio 4 *
Breathtaking... Staggeringly good. * Shortlist *
Just occasionally, a writer or artist - or both in one - emerges who is so astoundingly original that everything else suddenly seems like a facsimile of what has come before. Chris Ware, the 45-year-old American comics artist, is one of these. Widely hailed as one of the foremost practitioners working in the medium today, his new book, if one can call it that without being reductionist, is a work of such startling genius that it is difficult to know where to begin. -- Jake Wallis Simons * Daily Telegraph *
This is the first book which I have finished and immediately started again, wanting to experience each of the stories with full knowledge of what happens in the rest... The number of narrative techniques Ware uses in the novel is giddying... Building Stories is a stunning piece of work, proving yet again why Ware is so frequently included in lists of the greatest living cartoonists. -- Alex Hern * New Statesman *

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