W.W. Norton has acquired world rights, except for Canada, to Stitches, an unusual graphic memoir that incorporates illustrations and prose by the award-winning children's author and illustrator David Small. The work was acquired by Norton executive editor Robert Weil in "a strong six-figure" deal in an auction conducted by Small's agent, Holly McGhee.
The book recounts the disturbing story of Small's childhood in the 1950s. The son of a radiologist, Small tells the story of his bizarre and abusive father, a childhood that left him figuratively and literally speechless, and his escape from home at age 16. Weil said the book is primarily graphic and supported by prose. This is the third major graphics work acquired by Weil, who has also acquired the works of acclaimed comics artists R. Crumb and Will Eisner.
Small is the author of more than 40 books for children, and his picture book So You Want to Be President? was awarded the 2001 Caldecott Medal. Stitches will be published in a two-color, 7”x10” format in the fall of 2009, supported by a multicity book tour. Norton foreign rights manager Elisabeth Kerr said there was heavy interest in the book at the Frankfurt Book Fair.