Title: Burma Chronicles
Author: Guy Delisle
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly, September 2008
Summary: Because his wife works for MSF (Doctors without Borders), French-Canadian cartoonist Guy Delisle often finds himself living in countries that, for most of us, are shrouded in mystery. This graphic travelogue recounts the year he spent living in Myanmar, formerly called Burma, a small impoverished nation run by a military junta constantly sanctioned for human rights violations. It’s most notable citizen is the leader of its banned democratic party and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for nearly 13 years.
Delisle rarely gets political, even though he lives in a house just up the road from Suu Kyi, or ‘The Lady,’ as she is referred to by the Burmese people. Instead, he describes everyday life in Burma: The oppressive heat, the delight his neighbors take in his light-skinned baby Louis, and the ubiquitous Karen Carpenter songs playing in the grocery stores. He describes the difficulties NGOs like MSF have trying to reach the impoverished and disadvantaged populations they strive to aid, and the idiosyncrasies of living under dictatorship.
Who will like this book?: Fans of travel writing. People interested in human rights, or the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi.
If you like this, try this: Delisle’s other graphic travelogues: Shenzen (about China) or Pyongyang (North Korea.) A Perfect Prisoner: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s Prisoner of Conscience by Justin Wintle.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian