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A timely and incisive portrait of a country on the tipping point
After developing his acclaimed style of firsthand reporting with his bestselling graphic novels Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea and Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China, Guy Delisle is back with The Burma Chronicles. In this country notorious for its use of concealment and isolation as social control―where scissors-wielding censors monitor the papers, the de facto leader of the opposition has been under decade-long house arrest, insurgent-controlled regions are effectively cut off from the world, and rumor is the most reliable source of current information―he turns his gaze to the everyday for a sense of the big picture.
Delisle's deft and recognizable renderings take note of almsgiving rituals, daylong power outages, and rampant heroin use in outlying regions, in this place where catastrophic mismanagement and ironhanded rule come up against profound resilience of spirit, expatriate life ambles along, and nongovernmental organizations struggle with the risk of co-option by the military junta. The Burma Chronicles is drawn with a minimal line, and interspersed with wordless vignettes and moments of Delisle's distinctive slapstick humor.
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Born in Quebec City in 1966, GUY DELISLE spent a decade working in animation in Europe and Asia. In 2005–2006, he accompanied his wife, an administrator for Doctors Without Borders, on a fourteen-month posting in Burma.From Publishers Weekly:
DeLisle's (Pyongyang) latest exploration of Asian life is probably the best possible argument against the ruling junta in the embattled (and now nearly obliterated) nation also known as Myanmar. Readers will find themselves initially shocked and surprised at the country's differences, then awestruck by the new traditions and finally in love with and yet enraged by Burmese daily life. DeLisle's wife is a French aid worker with Medecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), leaving DeLisle alone with their son, Louis, and his cartooning. DeLisle's style is simple but highly eloquent, and he tells more about the depth and breadth of the Burmese experience in the book's little nonfiction vignettes than he ever could in an artificially imposed narrative. Burma Chronicles is not merely a neat piece of cartooning but a valuable artifact of a repressive and highly destructive culture that curtails free speech with unparalleled tenacity. Like Joe Sacco's The Fixer and Safe Area Gorazde, DeLisle uses cartooning to dig into a story that demands to be told. (Sept.)
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