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A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to…

A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return (Single Titles) (original 2007; edition 2012)

by Zeina Abirached, Zeina Abirached (Illustrator)

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1175103,116 (3.82)8
Title:A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return (Single Titles)
Authors:Zeina Abirached
Other authors:Zeina Abirached (Illustrator)
Info:Graphic Universe (2012), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return by Zeina Abirached (2007)


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English (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
In ways that traditional books cannot, graphic novels seem to have the ability to express difficult things so that they cannot be dismissed. This book brings to life the realities of war from the eyes of a child, so in many ways it is simple and straightforward. It's just one day, just one room, and yet the fear and anxiety are clear. I have seen comparisons to other award-winning graphic novels, and while I think those comparisons are fair, Abirached still has her own story to tell. I found this to be powerful and moving. Recommended. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | Oct 13, 2015 |
I read the follow-up to this, "I Remember Beirut", first and enjoyed that much better. This is a single episode of a family and group of friends experiencing a bombing during the Lebanese Civil War. The story isn't political or religious. We just sit in a room with the people as they wait out the bombing and fear for two children's parents who were visiting down the street before the bombs started. An autobiographical story but I didn't find any connection with anyone and mostly found the tale uninteresting and lacklustre. The art on the other hand is wonderful. I love the artist's doodling style with spirals and curlicues while the black and white sets the atmosphere. ( )
  ElizaJane | Aug 31, 2015 |
Another remarkable graphic memoir. In this French import, the civil war in Lebanon in the 1980s is seen through the eyes of a child. The black-and-white illustrations are reminiscent of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Tense but quiet, Zeina Abirached weaves this autobiographical story spanning a single night of the Lebanese civil war: her parents, trapped a few blocks away, cannot get back to their children because of the day's violent bombardment. Abirached's heavy, geometric blacks, repetition, and thoughtful use of negative space ramps up the anxiety of the make-shift family of apartment dwellers, gathering in the safest apartment in the complex to wait out the bombing, and hope for the safe arrival of Abirached's parents. Humor and matter-of-fact acceptance of the situation offset the horrors of war, as Similar to Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis" in style and in subject matter, this title nevertheless stands out in its approach. While "Persepolis" spans many years and many locations, Abirached's story trades comprehensive narrative for suspense. Visually, the story breathes more than "Persepolis," yet the linework, more thick and stylized, feels heavier. Abirached uses ticking clocks, puffing cigarettes, and a tapestry depicting Moses and the Israelites fleeing Egypt to further create a thick atmosphere, that contrasts with the tenants' attempts to keep positive. Perhaps not a title that children would choose without prompting, this translated (from French) account of anxious waiting provides a top-quality look into life during a time of violence. ( )
1 vote rjmoir | Dec 5, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zeina Abirachedprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robbins, TrinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ulrich, JohannHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Living in the midst of civil war in Beirut, Lebanon, Zeina and her brother face an evening of apprehension when their parents do not return from a visit to the other side of the city.

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