Thursday, 16 February 2017



Promises
Illustrated by Ana Juan

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Written by Matz Mainka
Translated by David Haughton
Published by Logos, Modena, 2012

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This book was a gift from a student 4 years ago - and I haven’t ceased to marvel at its haunting beauty and ability to disturb in that time. 

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Don’t be fooled by the picture book format - this is not a gentle bedtime read to ease a child to sleep. Juan’s illustrations depict a doomed, passionate love affair. The use of soft texture carries us from hazy, heady romance into dramatic, brooding shadows as haunting madness creeps into the storyline. The black and white work is in contrast to the stark red ink of the lover’s tattoos that gradually seep over our heroine and across the pages of the book, the combination of the two materials masterfully employed alongside each other to create disturbing imagery that stays with you long after you have put this book down. 

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Juan has created sexually charged imagery: surging torpedoes, rising vessels, spurting petals. That such powerful adult imagery is packaged in a format usually reserved for children adds to the subversiveness of this story.

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This is a deliciously dark and uncomfortable experience.

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Do look up more of Ana Juan's work. It is beautiful.

http://anajuan.net/ana-juan-mainmenu/

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