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Razor-sharp portrayal of displacement


Judith Vanistendael

Penelope is a surgeon on the Syrian front. In the space of ten years she has completed more than thirty missions, and returning home is becoming increasingly difficult. While her daughter is growing up, has her first period and worries about the size of her nose, Penelope tries to save human lives under appalling conditions. Getting used to everyday life again is never easy, and this time the memory of a little girl she was unable to save has followed her back home. Penelope’s mother is always worried, her sister criticizes her idealism, her husband seems to get on just fine without her and a colleague says that he would have gone to Syria too – if he hadn’t had children.

A deceptively simple watercolour style, thoughtful observations, astute dialogue: a captivating graphic novel
De Morgen

Like the true master that she is, Judith Vanistendael paints the inner conflict of a woman who recognises that she cannot do anything about the growing distance between her and the home front. In this book it is Penelope who leaves her Odysseus to go to battle. In dynamic watercolour compositions with dialogues that reveal razor-sharp observation, Vanistendael wonders how to deal with a choice that is not a real choice at all.

Breathtakingly beautiful. A brilliant narrative
Beautiful portrait of a woman in motion