Book of the Week: Burma Chronicles (GuyDelisle)

Comic book artist Guy Delisle spends a year with his wife and infant son in Burma, home of one of the most repressive and reclusive governments on Earth. Daily, he chronicles his experiences in Yangon and the vicinity, presenting a series of anecdotal snapshots of the daily life of an expat in a former British colony. While his wife works for the French arm of Doctors Without Borders, Delisle explores Yangon, teaches animation to some of the locals and does his best to interact with the locals. For anyone who has spent any time in a developing country, particularly the former British colonies, it’s a hilarious account of the often surreal lives of expatriate professionals.

Burma Chronicles is mostly about one man’s life in Burma. While the political leanings of the author are not too hard to guess, the dire political and human rights situation in Burma could have been a larger focus of the book. He does mention that he attempted to get a local cartoonist to write an account of his village being forcibly moved by the military junta, but man was either afraid or uninterested in participating. Regardless, the book is excellent, and highly recommended for anyone who wants to know about Burma, or about life in the periphery of a humanitarian expat community.

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About Pete Larson

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Nagasaki University Institute for Tropical Medicine

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