When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over is a quietly enthralling and keenly intimate work about the search for meaning in the everyday, and what it might mean to belong. A record of a year of a life, When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over is an attempt to pin down time, to capture the most beautiful and fleeting moments that we tend to rush past.
This is the story of a person and those that surround her. It’s about ageing, love, and loss, and how we might try to balance work and family and art in this confusing modern world. Funny, sad, and perfectly magnetic, When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over draws you in deep; before you know it you’re caring intensely about the lives into which we are given some precious glimpses.
Mandy Ord is a comics artist, a cartoonist, an illustrator, a speaker and teacher of comics, a greengrocer, and a disability support worker. Mandy’s first graphic novel Rooftops was published in 2008, followed by her second book Sensitive Creatures, published in 2011 and which received a White Ravens award at the Bologna Book Fair. Mandy’s comic stories have also been included in a variety of local and international publications, such as Meanjin, The Age, Voiceworks, The Australian Rationalist Magazine, The Wheeler Centre website, Trouble Magazine, SBS Cornerfold, Going Down Swinging, Tango, and Inscribe Magazine. In 2018 Mandy illustrated her first book for children, Chalk Boy, written by Margaret Wild.
When One Person Dies the Whole World is Over is an elegantly complex book of illustrated non-fiction in the form of a page-to-a-day diary of one year in the author’s life. In lush black monochrome, Ord takes us through a memoir that incorporates the humdrum of daily life, interactions with partner and pets, and the joy and drudgery of workplaces. Relations with extended family are portrayed lovingly, and Ord never swerves away from the difficulties of life’s many small and large peculiarities and how they can make a person feel.
Ultimately, Ord has much to say, not least about ageing and loss—and her downbeat tone is a delicious rejoinder to the cacophony of glossy words and images we are presented with on a daily basis. Perhaps her most pressing thoughts concern art and how it works within a life, and why it is vitally important. Evident in the balance she manages to preserve in this chronicle is an admirable equilibrium showing the crucial elements that make up a rich life. This is a sweet, soulful book with immense appeal.
‘Ord-inary concerns revisited’, by Cefn Ridout in Books | The Australian.
‘A record of a year of a life, When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over is an attempt to pin down time, to capture the most beautiful and fleeting moments that we tend to rush past.’ Brow Books, The Lifted Brow.