9781894937795

Shenzhen A Travelogue from China

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781894937795

  • ISBN10:

    1894937791

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-10-17
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly

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Summary

The follow-up graphic novel to the acclaimedPyongyang: A Journey to North KoreaShenzhenis entertainingly compact, with Guy Delisle's observations of life in a cold urban city in southern China that is sealed off from the rest of the country by electric fences and armed guards. With a dry wit and a clean line, Delisle makes the most of his time spent in Asia overseeing outsourced production for a French animation company. By translating his fish-out-of-water experiences into accessible graphic novels,Delisle is quick to find the humor and point out the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. Yet he never forgets to relay his compassion for the simple freedoms that escape his colleagues by virtue of living in a Communist state. Guy Delislewas born in Quebec City in 1966 and has spent the last decade living and working in the South of France with his wife and son. Delisle has spent ten years, mostly in Europe, working in animation, an experience that taught him about movement and drawing. Delisle has written and drawn six graphic novels, includingShenzhen. Shenzhen, Guy Delisle's follow-up to his acclaimed graphic novelPyongyang, is entertainingly compact, with the author's observations of life in a cold urban city in southern China that is sealed off from the rest of the country by electric fences and armed guards. With a dry wit and a clean line, Delisle makes the most of his time spent in Asia overseeing outsourced production for a French animation company. By translating his fish-out-of-water experiences into accessible graphic novels, Delisle is quick to find the humor and point out the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. Yet he never forgets to relay his compassion for the simple freedoms that escape his colleagues by virtue of living in a Communist state. "A sharp eye for detail, self-deprecating humor and subtle, shadowy drawings highlight this engaging, ambitious graphic narrative . . . The artist makes no attempt to convince the reader to visit the Chinese city from which he couldn't wait to escape. As a Canadian native now based in France, Delisle is no stranger to cultural dislocation, yet he wasn't prepared for the strangeness and isolation he would feel when he traveled to China to direct a team of animators on a TV series. Within the workplace, the hotel and the restaurants he stumbles upon (where he proves far more open-minded and adventurous than many readers would be), Delisle runs into so many barriers that he ends up exploring his own psychological state here . . . The artist himself questions the value of sharing what he experienced during his stay in China, yet the Kafkaesque drawings that accompany his frequently droll narration are their own reward. Shenzhen may not be a nice place to live, but it's a provocative city to visit--in graphic form, at least. While never preaching, this volume makes a forceful case for creative license and personal liberty, as the artist discovers that there's no place like home."--Kirkus Reviews "[Delisle] recounts a 1997 stint in the Chinese boomtown Shenzhen . . . China showed signs of Westernization, at least in Special Economic Zones such as Shenzhen, where Delisle found a Hard Rock Cafe and a Gold's Gym. Still, he experienced near-constant alienation. The absence of other Westerners and bilingual Chinese left him unable to ask about baffling cultural differences ranging from exotic shops to the pervasive lack of sanitation . . . China is an authoritarian, not totalitarian, state, and Delisle escaped the oppressive atmosphere with a getaway to nearby Hong Kong, whose relative familiarity gave him 'reverse culture shock' . . . His creative skill suggests that the comic strip is the ideal medium for such an account. His wry

Author Biography

GUY DELISLE spent the past year living in Burma. He has written four graphic novels in French; Shenzhen is his second translated into English. He was born in Quebec and lives in France.

Table of Contents

Praise for Pyongyang:

“[Delisle] cloaks his tale with a compassionate cynicism that cushions the bleak horrors of this totalitarian Lost in Translation. [Grade:] A-.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Books like . . . Guy Delisle's Pyongyang—are held up not only as great literature but also as instructive guides to global conflict zones.” —Newsweek

“Delisle has drawn an unforgettable picture of Pyongyang.” —Time

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