Relatively Indolent but Relentless
A Cancer Treatment Journal
By Matt Freedman
(Seven Stories Press, Hardcover, 9781609805166, 240pp.)
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
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From October 3 to November 28, 2012, noted artist Matt Freedman underwent radiation and chemotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, for treatment of adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer that had spread from his tongue to his neck to his lungs by the time it was discovered. This is the funny, moving, courageous, and witty journal he kept during that time, in comics and words, of his thirty-five-day course of treatment.
MATT FREEDMAN is an artist, writer, and curator living in Queens, New York. He graduated from Harvard College and the University of Iowa. He teaches in the graduate fine arts and Visual Studies programs at the University of Pennsylvania. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in sculpture and New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in fiction writing. He co-curated the Paper Sculpture show that began at SculptureCenter in New York and toured nationally and the (B 19) exhibition at Long Island University. Recent solo shows of Freedman’s artwork have been held at Pierogi, FiveMyles, Big&Small/Casual, Valentine and Studio 10 galleries in Brooklyn.
Matt was a cartoonist for 12 years out of college—his strip "Free Associates" was published in The Onion, The Chicago Reader, The Philadelphia City Paper, and his writing has been published by Cabinet Magazine and The Pierogi Press.
Cartoonist Matt Freedman chronicled 60 days of cancer treatment in illustrations and in writing. "I didn't think of it as a book or a journal to share," he says, "but simply as a kind of experience." More at NPR.org
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“This is a staggering and beautiful book. It reminded me of the impact of Maus—how an unexpected form suddenly breaks your heart and takes an axe, as Kafka said, to that frozen sea inside us. In all honesty, I found this book…impossible not to read.”—Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!
“Harrowing, hilarious, humbling, triumphant.”—Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
“An amazing book…Matt Freedman manages to make his story come alive, and that’s what every artist/writer/cartoonist is trying for: a moment of focus and clarity that manages to convey personal insight…Freedman’s intelligence and humor comes through so clearly—[this book doesn’t] feel like a fictional [nor] filtered experience…It worked for me.”—Charles Burns, artist
"Relatively Indolent is a work of tremendous courage, talent and zeal, that turns the most difficult experience life can offer into a beautiful, evocative, and even humorous journal that anyone with cancer or without can understand. It cements my faith that in times of pain, not only is art the best answer, it's the only answer."—Paul Hoffman, bestselling author of The Man Who Loved Only Numbers