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In love with an asylum seeker

Dance by the Light of the Moon

Judith Vanistendael

‘Dance by the Light of the Moon’ is an enjoyable, flowing and exceptionally readable graphic novel about the author’s relationship with a Togolese political refugee. The story consists of two parts, in which we see the same relationship from two different perspectives.

In part 1, Sophia’s father gives vent to his feelings about his daughter’s relationship with an African political refugee. In spite of his prejudices and practical objections, he eventually stands up for this Togolese boy, who is his daughter’s boyfriend.

A powerful look into the complexities of the human heart and prejudice *****
Comic Heroes Magazine

In the second part, Sophia tells her own story, which results in a completely different graphic novel. Judith Vanistendael not only fills in the gaps that the father’s limited perspective on events naturally left open in the first volume, but the style is different too. While the first volume is often based on words, the second part consists mainly of pictures.

The visual narrative is vivid and follows a rhythm that matches the story perfectly. The simple innocence and dynamism of Vanistendael’s drawings are coupled with a great precision that reinforce the emotional resonance.

Both parts are published as a single volume in Italian, Spanish, English and German.

A refreshing counterpoint to the hot air that gusts up whenever immigration is mentioned
The Guardian