cover image Replay: Memoir of an Uprooted Family

Replay: Memoir of an Uprooted Family

Jordan Mechner. First Second, $29.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-87375-0

Video game designer Mechner uses alternating color palettes to distinguish between his, his father’s, and his grandfather’s timelines in this illuminating debut. Scenes from his Jewish grandfather Adolf’s unfinished memoir about living through WWI and WWII unfold in parallel to Mechner’s more quotidian struggles to keep his marriage together after he moves his family to France in 2015. Interwoven with this present-day migration story are vignettes recounting how Adolf’s life in Austria is upended by the Nazis. He’s forced to join the military and ultimately leave his son Franz behind as he migrates to Cuba in search of safety in 1938. Franz and his caretaker flee first to France and then to Havana, where they’re reunited with Adolf. Drawn in loose line art, the narrative jumps between time periods freely and rapidly to reveal the intertwining of generations. The alternating story lines can be hard to follow, but what emerges is an affecting ensemble portrait of one family’s experience with war and dislocation. Fans of Maus will want to take a look. (Mar.)