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My Diary by Mio Matsumoto

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Hardcover: 200 pages Publisher: Jonathan Cape (3 Jul 2008) Language English ISBN-10: 0224084437 ISBN-13: 978-0224084437

key themes: cancer relationships

Beautifully designed, the minimalist structure of this sparsely laid out volume makes it feel more like an art book than a graphic novel. Mio Matsumoto is an artist from Japan, and was studying in London when she was found to have a cancerous growth on her tongue. She travelled back to Japan for treatment and documented her illness in this sketchbook diary. The scratchy, deliberately "inept" biro drawings are very of the moment (think David Shrigley) but convey little in the way of emotional depth, leaving the text to convey the authors thoughts. The the idiomatic narration and romantic preoccupations of the author, with her crush on a handsome doctor, lends a slightly naive and foreign flavour to the story.

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