cover image Last Things: A Graphic Memoir About Loss and Love

Last Things: A Graphic Memoir About Loss and Love

Marissa Moss. Conari, $18.95 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-57324-698-9

Deeply affecting and harrowing, Moss’s narrative of her husband’s struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease begins with Harvey feeling a little out of breath while walking with his wife and sons in Rome, then races through a description of his awful deterioration over the next seven months. An uninformed or uncaring medical establishment doesn’t know how to help Harvey cope, leaving his wife to assimilate the physical and emotional changes in their lives. This is not a sentimental story of how suffering ennobles people. Harvey shuts off human contact, desperate to finish the art history research that has been his life’s work; Moss is distracted, clinging to her own sanity but horrified to realize how their mutual trust and tenderness are disappearing bit by bit. Moss’s deliberately naive drawings effectively accompany her painfully direct text. The fact that the family does endure is impressive, and this book demonstrates how art can transmute suffering into literature. (May)