Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 6th, 2017

Imagine Wanting Only This (Pantheon Books)

When Kristen Radtke was in college, the sudden death of a beloved uncle and, not long after his funeral, the sight of an abandoned mining town marked the beginning moments of a lifelong fascination with ruins and with people and places left behind. Over time, this fascination deepened until it triggered a journey around the world in search of ruined places. Now, in this genre-smashing graphic memoir, she leads us through deserted towns in the American Midwest, Italian villas, islands in the Philippines, New York City, and the delicate passageways of the human heart.

At once narrative and factual, historical and personal, Radtke's stunning illustrations and piercing text never shy away from the big questions: Why are we here, and what will we leave behind? 

Praise for Imagine Wanting Only This:
“Cities, ambitions, romances, and bodies come to ruin before our eyes, as Kristen Radtke invites us, in her beautifully understated way, to be disturbed, fascinated, and yes, even attracted to that ruin. A remarkable bildungsroman!” —Eula Biss, author of On Immunity
“Kristen Radtke leads us through a bleak and beautifully crafted story of heart and heartbreak—creation, connection, decay, and loss. Imagine Wanting Only This is challenging and inspiring.” —Ellen Forney, New York Times bestselling author of Marbles 

“Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This doesn’t tell a single story but a chorus of histories, personal and familial and historical, and invents its own marvelous language for their telling—a language forged from interior thought and visual imagination, bringing together words and illustration in continually surprising and moving ways. The voice in these pages is eloquent in so many ways at once, like a shape that exists in three dimensions rather than two, and it’s utterly singular: visually alive, attentive to details, self-questioning and tender as it surveys variously haunted terrains of heart and landscape. Radtke’s world is so immersive, and so sensitively conjured, that once I entered the sketched chamber of her pages, I didn’t want to leave again—or even pause for breath—until I reached the end.”  —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

"Riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect. In Kristen Radtke's hands, nonfiction becomes poetry. A tremendous achievement.” —Tom Hart, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rosalie Lightning

Kristen Radtke is a writer and illustrator based in Brooklyn. She is the managing editor of Sarabande Books and the film and video editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.

Jordan Crane is an American cartoonist.  He is best known for his graphic novella The Last Lonely Saturday (2000), his graphic novel The Clouds Above(2005) and his ongoing solo anthology comic book series Uptight (2006-present). His comics have received two Ignatz awards, a Xeric grant, an AIGA book design award, and have been included in the The Best American Comics 2012. As editor and publisher, Crane produced the influential comics anthology NON (1997-2000), and the anthology website What Things Do (2010-2016). His illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s and elsewhere.  His large format screen printed editions hang in private collections across the world.  Crane lives in Los Angeles, where he currently nearing completion of the graphic novel Keeping Two, to be published in 2018. 

Libby Flores is a 2008 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in Post Road Magazine, The Open Bar at Tin House, The Rattling Wall, Paper Darts, Bridge Eight, FLASH: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles, but will always be a Texan. Libby is the Director of Literary Programs at PEN Center USA. She can be found at