The Arrival

Posted on September 14, 2012. Filed under: Fiction | Tags: , , |

book cover for The ArrivalThe Arrival
by Shaun Tan

“A unique 128-page, textless graphic novel, in black, white and sepia, The Arrival draws its inspiration from tales of migrants in past and recent times. The central character is a middle-aged man who arrives in a strange new place and tries to find a place to live, a job and a handle on a new language. He encounters many challenges, all described entirely through visual sequences. The absence of words emphasizes the strangeness of the situation and the loneliness experienced by many migrants, but the ending is full of affirmation and hope, when the wife and son the migrant had to leave behind are finally able to join him in their new homeland” (Enriched content provided by Syndetics).

This is an amazing graphic novel. The graphics are stunning and convey a moving and educational look at the immigrant experience. By telling the story in a fantastical world, the author portrays even to a non-immigrant what it might feel like for someone to move to a new country where everything is unfamiliar and strange. How would you adapt when you don’t understand the signs or the language? How do you find food to eat at the marketplace when the local food is so unfamiliar to you? This book is both beautiful to peruse and thought-provoking. I definitely recommend it.

-Posted by Gretchen Schneider


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