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by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Dave Eggers

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-936365-42-5
Publisher: McSweeney's McMullens

A heartbreaking work of staggering self-indulgence.

Marlana is fully drawn: blue hoodie, red skirt, yellow tights, dark blue boots. She inhabits a stark white background, and at her feet, in the park, she sees a little squiggle at the end of a single line of grass and pulls it. It comes up, unraveling the grass like loose yarn from a sweater, until the line of grass reaches a tree. “She wondered whether it was all connected, and whether she could make it disappear.” She pulls until the tree is gone. The line or thread goes on, and she enjoys pulling apart a palace and then a town, although “she wondered what the world would look like without them.” She pulls and pulls until there is nothing left. She turns around and sees a huge tangle of line. She figures she ought to put it all back, though "it would probably take a while." The end. The intellectual laziness of its non-ending is reflected in the art, as Eggers cannot bestir himself to draw the images as one continuous line, which would make more sense. The story has no child appeal (nor adult appeal, come to that) in its seeming role as the anti-Harold and the Purple Crayon. Maybe it's meant to be a metaphor for the creative process or for humankind's penchant for destruction; only Eggers knows for sure.

Inscrutable existential twaddle. (Picture book. Adult)