Jamilti & Other Stories by Rutu Modan
Date read: 06-07 February 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc 2016transl
Hardback, 174 pages
Published 2008 First hardcover edition by drawn & quarterly
Source: Deschutes Public Library [Graphic Novel MODAN RUTU]
This is my fourth Modan book this year. I also read The Property, exit wounds, and the children’s book Maya Makes a Mess. In general I quite liked them. The children’s one not as much but the others all got 4 or 5 stars out of 5.
This is a collection of seven short graphic stories:
- Jamilti 2
- Energy Blockage 1
- Bygone 2
- The Panty Killer 1
- Homecoming 2
- The King of Lillies 1
- Your Number One Fan
Translation credit: 1 Noah Stollman, 2 Jesse Mishori
Most of these are a slight bit twisted, to say the least, but they provide some interesting commentary on assorted aspects of modern Western culture, and on Israeli culture in particular.
Jamilti describes a day in the life of a couple trying to plan their wedding. Based on the course of the day I’d say things aren’t looking up for the prospective groom. Very powerful.
Energy Blockage has to do with our search for solutions to well-being, charlatans, and the damage families do to themselves for some sort of closure.
Bygone is about mothers and daughters, or sisters, and the secrets families keep.
The Panty Killer is about the differences between an adult’s and a child’s version of memories and how they impact us in the longterm.
Homecoming. Well. I’ll let you read it and decide. There are some things I would like to say about this and some aspects of several of the stories but the topic is beyond fraught. Whether justified or not, there is a lot of Israeli aggression in this book, as one might expect.
The King of Lillies reflects on plastic surgery and the ideal of beauty, especially as embodied in an unrequited love.
Your Number One Fan visits the topic of fandom and the relations between Israeli Jews and the Diaspora.
All in all, I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it, particularly if you are interested in translations and/our perspectives from other cultures.