Guy Delisle - Burma Chronicles (4 stars)

Guy Delisle - Burma Chronicles

(Jonathan Cape)


French-Canadian animator and cartoonist Guy Delisle previously documented his experiences in far-flung inaccessible countries with Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China and Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea. His third graphic travel memoir takes Delisle to an even less accessible territory, Myanmar, where he lived with his baby and wife who worked there in a non-governmental organisation. Once again, it’s a very readable mix of reportage and personal reflections on the daily lives of people in a place that we otherwise only hear about through sensational news headlines.

Like his fellow traveller Joe Sacco (Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde), Delisle delights in small, humorous and humanising details about these shunned locales, from getting involved in a water-fight with the native kids to marvelling at how members of the military junta are terrified of one another. And his low-key observations are rendered with deceptively simple words and pictures, the clarity of which no doubt arises from Delisle’s animation day job.

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