Burma Chronicles

February 22, 2009 | Graphic novels

Burma Chronicles
Guy Delisle
Drawn & Quarterly
208-page hardcover
**** (out of five)

Another year, another long stay in a country where the peoples’ rights are abused and the leaders are corrupt.
Such is life for Canadian ex-pat Guy Delisle.
After working in the animation industry in North Korea and China and keeping a quirky illustrated diary of his surreal experiences in those places that became the books, Pyongyang and Shenzhen, Delisle finally gets to spend some quality time with his family.
But since his wife, Nadège, works with Doctors Without Borders, Delisle, along with their infant son, Louis, get to spend that time together in Burma.
From examinations of the stained red smiles of the betel nut-chewing denizens of Rangoon to futile attempts to see house-imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and long looks at Buddhism, life under military rule, censorship and the rampant use of heroin, Delisle presents a raw, compassionate and yet often humourous and optimistic look at a corner of the world many choose to turn a blind eye to.

(This article was first published in the Toronto Star)

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