A visually stunning horror story, ghost story, and work of graphic literary fiction, this book tells a raw and disturbing story rooted in our human history, with a devastating and unforgettable ending.
"How can you see letters without wanting to read them? How can you look at the sea without wanting to swim in it?"
A boy (no more than nine) discovers that his father is writing a history of infanticide. Curiosity compels the boy, and so the sea in which he begins to swim is that of his father's sloping handwriting.
Every night, the boy goes through a fragment of those pages—pages that make him feel suffocated and unable to sleep—while every day he asks himself if children should know this horror story. But the boy's most pressing concern is something else: that history is catching-up with him and the other children, as his father's book progresses through the ages. Will the story reach the present day and find him?
This book has many intentions, one of them being to ask why adults know so little about the moments in history where infants were exterminated, such as the time of the Roman Emperor Nero, the crusades against children, the massacre of the Holy Innocents, the Congress of Basel in 1437, Napoleon and the regiments of Marie Louise… right up to the child trafficking and domestic violence of today. Chávez Castañeda and Magallanes focus here so that others will care, and so that this history will resurface for transmission and remembrance. They also tell the story as a commentary on our own times, as a way of provoking us to think more honestly and deeply about childhood, children, and the respect we owe them in their difference from adults.
Written by genre-defying Mexican author Ricardo Chávez Castañeda, The Book of Denial is a dark and powerful story within a story, illustrated with a striking graphic sensibility by Alejandro Magallanes and translated by Lawrence Schimel.
This is the third book to appear under Unruly, an imprint of picture books for older readers, and will include a short note to readers about how it continues to build this experimental framework of visually complex, sophisticated picture books for teens and adults.
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