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Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle
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Comments for Burma Chronicles

Burma Chronicles: 11/10/14

cover art

Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle is one from a series of graphic novel memoirs of his time in a particular part of the world while his wife is on assignment for Doctors without Borders. Burma Chronicles (originally Chroniques burmanes) covers the time spent living in Myanmar.

While his wife works at the clinic, he spends his time between raising their infant son and writing (and drawing) his memoir. The book is divided into small vignettes of panel comics on a given topic — finding a home, learning the language, living with the heat, etc.

Mixed in with the mundane, there are also observations on the political and economic situation. They live just around the corner from a political prisoner. As foreigners they are not allowed anywhere near her home.

Interestingly, though, Delisle also chronicles how easy it is to become complacent. He shows himself in one vignette filled with plans to participate (for instance, getting up each dawn to feed the monks) or to rebel (trying to see the political prisoner). But each time, though, the vignette ends with "Next morning" and he's either sleeping in or doing something else — the grand plans long forgotten.

Although I found some of the pacing a little slow, it was fascinating enough that I plan to track down other travelogues in this series.

Four stars

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