By Tillie Walden. Published by First Second.
Softcover, 320 pages, Color, 2019.
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.
2020 Eisner Award Winner, Best Graphic Album--New
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of 2019
A National Public Radio (NPR) Best Book of 2019
An O Magazine Best LGBTQ Book of 2019
One of The Comics Beat's Best Comics of 2019
A Lambda Literary Award Finalist
A Harvey Award nominee, Best Book of the Year
Eisner Award Nominee, Lambda Literary Award - Nominee, Eisner Award Winner
“Combining dreamily gorgeous artwork and lyrical, sophisticated storytelling, 23-year-old Eisner award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden has emerged as a master of her craft.” —O, the Oprah Magazine
“Delicate and emotional and inspiring.” —The Comics Beat
“Equal parts paranoid tension and quiet wonder . . . A nuanced portrayal of the connection between Bea and Lou.” —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