February brings our annual celebration of the international graphic novel. From bomb shelters in Gaza to prisons in Greece, surviving famine in Ukraine and negotiating high school in Paris, these international artist-writers delineate character and plot with their singular styles. See how Nine Antico, Chihoi, Christophe-Ngalle Edimo and Simon-Pierre Mbumbo, Eom Jeong-He and Ko Im-Hong, Igort, Rutu Modan and Igal Sarna, and David Prudhomme make every picture tell a story. (Chihoi's tale is a translation within a translation, a graphic version of a story by Xi Xi, also appearing this month.) Elsewhere, in a trio of anti-valentines, Kjell Askildsen's resentful married couple seethe in silence, Guillermo Martinez's pick-up artist blunders through a dance hall, and Teresa Solana's elderly women dispatch an abusive son-in-law.
This month we also launch a new series, Our Man in Madrid, in which Jonathan Blitzer presents new work in Spanish by international writers coming through that literary hub. In the first installment, Venezuelan Juan Carlos Chirinos tracks the operatic last act of a despot.
Our Man in Madrid
The Last Brother, by young French-Mauritian author Nathacha Appanah, is a quiet, lyrical coming-of-age novel set against one of the least-known chapters of World War II
“Trembling” is how protagonist Sergio Prim first appears to the reader. “His hands fluttered like a bashful magician’s,” the Spaniard Belen Gopegui writes of her fictional creation.
Part dystopia part satire, this surreal tale of lost souls, and a dethroned deity, is not so much a murder mystery as it is a murderer's mystery