Guy Delisle's Jerusalem

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday April 25, 2012

Graphic memoirist Guy Delisle will be in Cambridge, MA tonight to present his latest book, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, which was released by Drawn & Quarterly yesterday. Delisle and his wife, an administrator for Doctors Without Borders, spent a year with their young children in East Jerusalem. During their stay, they witnessed the short but brutal Gaza War and a military strike that claimed more than 1,000 Palestinian lives in three weeks.

While his wife is at work, Delisle, a self-described “housewife," spends his days exploring both sides of the walls separating Jews from Arabs. In one surreal situation after another he encounters truth and hypocricy on both sides, but tries to live neutrally among Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Atheists. One opportunity for comic relief after another unfolds: amidst armed checkpoints, bulldozed homes, and stone-throwing confrontations, he reveals the frustrations and small victories of everyday life such as searching for booze in a Muslim supermarket and trying to outsmart the legendary security guards at Ben-Gurion Airport.


In one episode, Israeli guards close a checkpoint crowded with Arabs trying to get into the Holy City in time for prayers. In a cloud of tear gas, a veiled woman gives the guards an earful while a UN truck collects garbage and a vendor hawks his sesame bread at the top of his voice. The Arabs give up on the idea of getting to the mosque, then unroll their rugs for prayers amid the rubble. “What a sad sight,” says an onlooker. “I swear, it’s nothing to be proud of,” replies her companion.

delisle.jpgGuy Delisle will be at the Harvard Bookstore, Wednesday April 25th, 7:00 pm. 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Information. On Thursday he’ll be at Politics and Prose, in Washington D.C. Information. Other stops: LOS ANGELES Saturday, April 28th LA 5:30PM Skylight Books IOWA CITY Monday, April 30th 7PM Prairie Lights MINNEAPOLIS Tuesday, May 1st 7:30PM Magers & Quinn CHICAGO Wednesday, May 2nd 7PM At the Oak Park Library with Book Table TORONTO Thursday, May 3rd 7PM Carlton Cinema with TCAF TORONTO Saturday, May 5th & Sunday May 6th Toronto Comics Art FestivalDrawn & Quarterly.



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