Brittle Joints

Regular price $ 20.99

by Maria Sweeney

Street Noise Books

6/25/2024, paperback

SKU: 9781951491260


An evocative and heartfelt graphic memoir about the challenges of living with a progressive disability.

When Maria Sweeney was young, she kept count of her broken bones. As she grew older, she stopped. Living with Bruck syndrome, a rare progressive condition that gives her very brittle bones and joint abnormalities, meant that those numbers climbed and climbed.

Today, she struggles every day, living in an often-inaccessible world. As an ambulatory wheelchair user, ordinary actions like entering a building, sitting at a café, or holding a cup of tea can be drastically different for her than for others.

With lush illustrations, Maria tells the story of her lifelong struggle to obtain care in an increasingly complicated and disinterested US healthcare system. But for every step that presents a struggle, there's also beauty, friendship, art, and growth. She documents the relief she's found in alternative therapies, particularly medical marijuana; in loving community and chosen family; and in nature and her creative practice. A powerfully understated critique of our modern world, Brittle Joints offers a generous, expansive look at how to live and love amidst the challenges of survival.


"An invitation to try and understand the reality of being physically limited while being limitless, creative, and free as a bird in the mind." -- Karina Shor, author of Silence, Full Stop

"I was deeply moved by this generous offering with beautifully rendered imagery. This memoir is informative for those who have not experienced disability and highly relatable to those who inhabit a body that society and the medical system don't know how to treat." -- Natalie Norris, author of Dear Mini

gorgeous account of the temporality of illness and the deprivation of selfhood, balanced by a rich savoring of the organic and the beautiful in life from which many of us have much to learn." -- MK Czerwiec, author of Taking Turns

About the Author:

Maria Sweeney is a queer artist who was born in Moldova and grew up in New Jersey. She got her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design. She lives outside of Philadelphia, and when she's not reading or sketching comics, she's snuggling with her tiny dog, Bambi. This is her debut graphic novel.