This wordless graphic novel depicts a migrant’s journey from home and family to an unfamiliar land. It is a universal story, made new by sepia pencil and Tan’s extraordinary imagination.
Unique architecture, language, creatures and modes of transport challenge the arrival as he seeks a place to stay and employment. I found the panels that ‘zoomed out’ gradually from close detail to a vast landscape particularly effective.
The ‘silence’ of wordlessness gives extensive potential for personal interpretations. My partner, a former student of international politics, found in it metaphors for global dominance and subordinated nations. It is also the story of a person trying to belong and make a home. It has the depth of a novel. It is timeless.
Have you read it? What did you think? I’ve only read a few graphic novels, are there any others that you would recommend? Comments please!