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A painful search for the meaning of absence


Shamisa Debroey

A girl sits in a bar waiting for someone who does not come. Meanwhile she thinks about her childhood, most of which she spent with her grandparents. Her father is absent and her mother is rarely at home. In associative images, Shamisa Debroey forms her own interpretation of her father. He is always on the road, searching for happiness and complete freedom. That both he and her mother abandoned their children to do so is clearly a major source of pain in the protagonist’s life. Loneliness surrounds the girl, but gradually light appears at the end of the tunnel.

A deceptively light story about absent parents and a lonely child

In this highly acclaimed debut, Shamisa Debroey displays a graphic maturity that is unexpected for such a young author. Her relaxed page layout, fine, sweeping lines and use of watercolours lend her work its own distinctive look. This poetic and nuanced portrait of a difficult parent–child relationship is a strong and exceptionally self-assured first step.

Unique visual language
Cutting Edge
Unexpected and magnificent