Are You Listening? (Paperback)
First Second, 9781250207562, 320pp.
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Other Editions of This Title:
The graphic novel Are You Listening? is an intimate and emotionally soaring story about friendship, grief, and healing from Eisner Award winner Tillie Walden.
Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou.
This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak—and a startling revelation about sexual assault—culminating in an exquisite example of human connection.
This magical realistic adventure from the celebrated comics creator of Spinning and On a Sunbeam will stay with readers long after the final gorgeously illustrated page.
About the Author
Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, Texas. Born in 1996, she is a graduate from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. Over the course of her time at CCS she published three books with the London based Avery Hill Publishing. Her graphic novels with First Second include her autobiographical work Spinning and the sci-fi epic On a Sunbeam. She is a two-time Eisner nominee and Ignatz Award winner who now lives in Los Angeles. When she is not drawing comics, Tillie can be found walking and listening to audiobooks or asleep with a cat.
Praise For Are You Listening?…
“This latest by Walden uses heavily detailed illustrations and luminous, startling color to depict both surreal landscapes and subtle expressions, imbuing the story with equal parts paranoid tension and quiet wonder . . . A nuanced portrayal of the connection between Bea and Lou, nearly a decade apart in age but young and gay and navigating trauma and loss in rural Texas.” —Publishers Weekly
“Walden’s subtle writing and art lend an air of mystery, and manga-esque character designs and detailed backgrounds provide generous helpings of atmosphere . . . The narrative offers no easy solutions, but the reader is still left feeling hopeful and, perhaps, a little healed.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
“Walden is up to her usual visual tricks in her latest, with intriguingly layered, intricately detailed images in rich, warm, sunset colors that lack concrete realism but cultivate powerful atmosphere . . . A moving story of recovery and resilience.” —Booklist, starred review
"Walden crafts a story rich in metaphor about two gay women on a journey through trauma and grief...A tsunami of emotions—sharp and heavy." —Kirkus
“Walden deftly explores weighty subjects within the deceptively simple road trip narrative . . . the combination of real-life trauma with magical realism makes this tale of queer friendship, healing, and rebuilding in the wake of pain and anguish an important addition to collections.” —School Library Journal
"Walden crafts another graphic novel exploring themes of trauma, healing, identity, and chosen family...like the illustrations, the protagonists’ reality is shaped by their emotions, and by book’s end each has had space to process some of her pain." —Horn Book
“With its spectacular art and original storytelling, Are You Listening? is a profound and magical road trip through a surreal landscape with two characters—and one special cat—who will break your heart.” —Laura Ruby, author of National Book Award Finalist Bone Gap
On a Sunbeam:
“Tillie Walden is the future of comics.” —Brian K. Vaughan, Saga series and Paper Girls
“On a Sunbeam is a rare treat.” —Martha Wells, author of The Murderbot Diaries and The Books of the Raksura
“I couldn't put this down.” —Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice
“It was so easy to curl up in the art and lose myself in the story.” —Becky Chambers, author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Eisner Award winner
“[A] stark, gripping graphic novel memoir.” —Washington Post
“Engrossing.” —New York Times
“Intimate and compelling. A quiet powerhouse of a memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A haunting and resonant coming-of-age story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Deeply satisfying.” —Booklist, starred review