The Banana Story of Agony
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Lesley Johnson’s AMOUR, LOVE, KESALUEMK, AMOR, LIEBE was published in 2003 by Bouton d’or Acadie. Since then, she’s completed the stories Susan Had a Chicken on Her Butt, There’s No One Home, and The Banana Story of Agony, all of which have been collected here. This book straddles the line between graphic novel, art book, and children’s book and fits perfectly into conundrum’s mandate of publishing cross-genre work.
“Part graphic novel, part children’s picture book, Lesley Johnson’s The Banana Story of Agony is a collection of four whimsical stories recounted primarily through Johnson’s expressionistic illustrations. “Love” describes Paradise lost and then rediscovered; in “There’s No One Home,” a boy refuses to let Santa into his house; “Susan Had a Chicken on her Butt” really is about the fowl on a sulky girl’s posterior; and the title story relays a banana’s tragic quest for self-fulfillment. Johnson’s landscapes are stark but glowing, and her impish characters flow across the pages. Humour and brevity combine in strange worlds that invite readers to create their own tangential storylines.” —MRB
Lesley Johnson lives in Sackville, New Brunswick — the heart of the heart of the heart as it’s called. After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University, she’s lived in Western Canada, Halifax, a cabin in the woods, London, Prague, on the ocean in Rockport, NB, — always returning to Sackville. Among other things, she writes and illustrates her stories. Check out her personal site.