The Photographer

9781596433755The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders

by Emmanuel Guibert, Frederic Lemercier and Didier Lefevre
267 Pages | Genre: Graphic Novel | Publisher: First Second | Year: 2009 | Rating: 8.5/10

In 1986, French photojournalist Didier Lefèvre documented the efforts of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Afghanistan, which was torn apart by a war with USSR. This graphic novel is a record of his arduous journey along with the Doctors across Afghanistan and presents a powerful story of a mission dedicated to mending the wounds of war. I like the presentation style of using real B/W photographs and comic book illustrations & dialogues by Emmanuel Guibert based on the notes taken during the journey.

This incredibly brilliant graphic novel is my “Read of the Week”.

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The Sisters Brothers

9781847083180“Come with me into the world and reclaim your independence. You stand to gain so much, and riches are the least of it.”
– Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers
This books made me laugh with its adroit humor and cringe at the same time. Delightful. The story is narrated by Eli Sisters, a hired killer on the American west coast in 1851, around the time of the Gold Rush in the Sierra Nevada mountains. However Eli barely gives the American landscape a glance, and people met along the way are simple figures in his moral drama. Nor does Eli have any larger philosophical or socio-historical insights to offer for the century this story is set in. This hilariously anti-heroic and relentlessly compelling novel is my “Read of the Week”.

The Tiger’s Wife

8366403When your fight has purpose—to free you from something, to interfere on the behalf of an innocent—it has a hope of finality. When the fight is about unraveling—when it is about your name, the places to which your blood is anchored, the attachment of your name to some landmark or event—there is nothing but hate, and the long, slow progression of people who feed on it and are fed it, meticulously, by the ones who come before them. Then the fight is endless, and comes in waves and waves, but always retains its capacity to surprise those who hope against it.”
― Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife

This novel full of historic and human complexities of Balkans through its principal narrator, Natalia Stefanovic, a young doctor who lives with her mother, grandmother and grandfather in an unnamed Balkan city early in the 21st century, is my “Read of the Week”.

American Gods

113767203What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

 

This dark, poetic and thrilling novel across an American landscape is my “Read of the Week”.

The Sense of an Ending

b3“How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but – mainly – to ourselves.”
― Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

This 2011 Booker Prize winning, witty, cynical and ironic novel is my “Read of theWeek”

The Cat’s Table

Cat's TableWe all have an old knot in the heart we wish to untie.”
― Michael Ondaatje, The Cat’s Table

 

This bittersweet story of memory & place, of three boys who take a journey by sea from one world to another, which florishes in the gaps between fact and fiction is my “Read of the Week”

River of Smoke

150px-River_of_smoke“Opium is like the wind or the tides: it is outside my power to affect its course. A man is neither good nor evil because he sails his ship upon the wind. It is his conduct towards those around him – his friends, his family, his servants – by which he must be judged”

– Amitav Ghosh, River of Smoke

‘River of Smoke’, a brilliant historical fiction set in late 19th century China is my “Read of the week”.

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