… and so the story starts.
I was fortunate to come across this graphic novel - Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan - when I was browsing at a local bookstore recently for another book (which I will write about later). One of the staff recommended this book, and after a quick flip-through, I bought it.
It’s about two young Israelis who meet after a suicide bombing, their journeys together and the people they meet on the way. I really loved Modan’s artwork and her story-telling. Bit by bit, she fleshes out the lives of the two protagonists and through them, tells the day-to-day story of Israelis. I guess in a way, it’s an after-the-bombing story that we rarely, if ever, read about in the media. It’s certainly recommended reading.
There’s more about Ruth Modan at Drawn & Quarterly.
The book that I had originally wanted to buy was Pyongyang by Guy Delisle. Delisle is a French comic artist who draws about his travel experiences. Again, I was fortunate to be recommended one of his books - Burma Chronicles - from a friend who came across the French versions.
Delisle’s books are different from Modan’s in the sense that his is of an outsider’s view of a country. But what I felt he did a great job of in Burma Chronicles was succinctly and with a fair bit of humour, paint a picture of how certain aspects of life is in Burma. It’s a book more about observations than insights, but it goes beyond what is usually written about Burma and ASSK and it’s a good introduction to the country. It’s a book I would highly recommend if you are planning or thinking about a trip to Burma (Myanmar).
I was told by my friend that his book about North Korea - Pyongyang - was even better and so I’m certainly looking forward to reading it.