Sunday 6 July 2014

The Arrival

Finished July 6
The Arrival by Shaun Tan

This wordless graphic novel tells the story of immigration, following one man's journey from his homeland to a new and foreign place to bring his family too.
From leaving his home, wife, and child by train, the man then travels a long distance by ship to a foreign city. He undergoes an immigration process which includes medical examinations, and alights in this new land.
He finds someone who helps direct him to a place where he can rent a small furnished apartment, and also acquires a small pet-like companion.
He then goes out for food, confused by the abundance of things that he doesn't recognize, but again is helped by others. The same process is followed for finding employment.
Each of the people who helps him also tells him their immigration story.
After much time, his family arrives to join him, and they become the ones helping others navigate a strange place.
Done with sepia drawings, this graphic novel conveys the strangeness of immigration and the process to learn how to live in a place where the language, food, and way of life are not the ones you are used to.
This has become a classic for good reason.

1 comment:

  1. The artwork is just beautiful; this is one that I borrowed to read from the library, but I immediately wanted my own copy, so I could leave the book open in the house and just marvel at the drawing whenever I passed by. (The story is wonderful, too.)