The artist and musician Geneviève Castrée’s last work—an expression of love, meant to last longer than words
Drawn near the end of her life, surrounded by the nature and calm of Anacortes, Washington, Geneviève Castrée drew one final gift for her two-year-old daughter, the stunning board book A Bubble. Leaving behind a last note for a young child is an incomprehensible task; Castrée responds with grace and subtlety. Using precise, exquisite drawings of herself and her daughter, Castrée depicts changes in their daily routines as a greater story unfolds. Mother and daughter float from page to page, encased in a bubble that protects them from the outside world. A contemplation of love and loss, A Bubble is a lasting declaration, a final memory, a comfort for others experiencing grief, and a beautiful archive of one of the world’s most talented cartoonist’s final artistic achievements.
Known for her hauntingly beautiful music (under the names Ô PAON and Woelv), engrossingly detailed album illustrations, and delicate, subtle comics, Castrée’s previous graphic novel, Susceptible, shows her rare ability to handle difficult personal material with intimacy and honesty. A Bubble acts as an extension of her life story and the final chapter of a beautifully full existence. Castrée passed away in 2016 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
About the Author
Geneviève Castrée was born in Québec in 1981. Sometimes interdisciplinary, she is mostly known for her work as an illustrator and cartoonist. Impatient and lazy, Geneviève never officially studied "art". She has made a few books and has had a few exhibitions in places such as Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Geneviève Castrée lives and works in the Pacific Northwest. She also has a music project called Ô PAON.
Appeared on Best of 2018 lists from Pitchfork, Quill & Quire, and 100 Scope Notes!
“Before Geneviève Castrée passed away, she wrote this heart-wrenching story for her daughter… The most heartbreaking book of 2018.”—100 Scope Notes
“[A] heartbreaking last work.”—Pitchfork
"[A Bubble] is beautiful... The art Castrée made is testimony: to the joys of growing older, and to the price."—The Paris Review
“This board book – exploring the poignant relationship between a dying mother and her toddler-aged child – has to be one of the most heartbreaking works we have ever read.”—Quill & Quire
“A masterfully understated evocation of filial love and impending loss, its title an uncannily apt dual metaphor for a family’s self-created safe space and a mother’s fragile condition.”—Montreal Gazette
"Castrée’s book is a work of unbelievable dedication and care... A truly magnificent work of art."—Women's Review of Books
"Castrée’s delicate, detailed artwork, in warm, rich colors, reveals charming details of day-to-day life... Though the subject matter is tough, this thoughtfully written book, which ends on a hopeful note despite Castrée’s death in 2016, might be just right to share with little ones struggling to come to terms with a parent’s infirmity."—Booklist