Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City

Guy Delisle, Author
Guy Delisle, trans. by Hegle Dascher. Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-77046-071-3
Reviewed on: 02/20/2012
Release date: 04/24/2012
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-224-09669-0
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-1-77046-176-5
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-77046-158-1
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Delisle returns to his autobiographical travel format (Burma Chronicles; Pyongyang) with this engaging and troubling look at life in Jerusalem in 2008 and 2009 that won a gold medal for Best Graphic Albumat Angoulême. With his wife, who works for Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans Frontières, MSF), and their two young children, Delisle sees Jerusalem and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with the eyes of an outsider. His experiences are recorded in vignettes that touch on such topics as the wall that separates Palestinian and Israeli territories, the problems of airport security, and the very different tours visitors receive depending on the perspective of their guides. Like MSF, Delisle’s perspective tends heavily in favor of the Palestinians, particularly those killed in the bombings of Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, which took place during his year there. Delisle is not religious, and his lack of identification with any of the religions of Israel allows him to comment freely on all of them. With a more simplistic style than in Pyongyang, Delisle’s use of less shading and starker line work highlights the very complex lives of Israelis, Palestinians, and foreign residents. Dascher’s translation is fluid, and the colors by Delisle and Lucie Firoud are effective at setting off distinct scenes. (Apr.)
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