Burma Chronicles

Publisher: Jonathan Cape

Review

This graphic novel from Guy Delisle is a charming insight into a 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 rumour is the most reliable source of current information.

These short vignettes by Delisle are comedic and warm accounts of a country shrouded in tight governmental secrecy. They tell the story of his being a cartoonist and dad in Burma's capital while his wife ventures off to dangerous locales with Medecins Sans Frontieres. Each vignette reveals a small truth about the city and about life in Burma, charming accounts of a chillingly paranoid social structure.

Characters are well drawn in the micro-strips, ridiculous and bloated or warm and welcoming. Bureaucracy is given a satirical deconstruction and the lives of the ex-pats existing in Burma as businessman or journalists are exposed for their privileged narrow-minded attitude to the country.

The drawings are simple and uncluttered drawing you into an absorbing and charming read about a country of closed doors.

Share this page with your friends

More books like this

Journalism

Author: Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco is one of the most unique graphic novelists of his time. I wonder if he would even be satisfied with the label, graphic novelist. His works encompass so much more. He tells oral histories of our times. He writes journalism.

Read more about Journalism

Persepolis

Author: Marjane Satrapi Translator: Blake Ferris

Persepolis is Satrapi's history of Iran and her life in Iran and France as she tries to retain her Iranian culture but also grow up and become independent.

Read more about Persepolis