Rant and Rave – Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Book  ★ ★ ★ ☆

Often, the only excuse novel haters need to convince them to throw a book back in the shelf is, “they’ve got no pictures in them.” To the verbally challenged or the outright lazy, looking at pictures is easiest way to grasp a story. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.

Book cover courtesy of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

If that were true then Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral has much to say.

One of the first of its kind, ‘Chopsticks’ is a story constructed entirely out of photographs and graphic art. The almost textless novel speaks of Glory Fleming, a piano prodigy who, after a tragic accident involving her mother, could play no more than ‘Chopsticks’. She develops a relationship with Frank Mendoza, a troubled young artist who dreams of returning to Argentina to pursue his art. Together, they break through the confines of their lives and follow the path their love has made.

Reading ‘Chopsticks’ is akin to flipping through an independent romance film, with twice the voyeurism of peering at the characters’ personal lives. The unique approach to the story and it is enthralling. Visual elements, from snapshots to graphics, weave a full narrative from beginning to end, in the absence of wordy descriptions typical of novels. Every detail of an image, its color or composition, is given importance and lends itself to the story.

Though experimental in style, the message of the story is clear and poignant. ‘Chopsticks’ will have your heart beat with its rush of new love; it is a heart-warming tale and the perfect inspiration for that could-be summer romance.

Jonnah Dayuta

By Jonnah Dayuta

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