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Ali Fitzgerald’s students are among the record-breaking number of people who are seeking asylum in Berlin, fleeing from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. They draw images of experienced violence and careful optimism: rafts and tanks, flowers and the Eiffel Tower. In her decade in Germany, Fitzgerald experiences the highs of the creatively hopeful along with the deep depression of the disillusioned, all while waiting to stumble into her own glory like the great Modernists before her. Her comics are compassionate and unflinchingly intimate, as the fantasy of her bohemia crumbles in a globalized city. Entwining political and personal displacement, Fitzgerald’s graphic memoir is about loss, community, and the drawings that bind us.
"One of the finest pieces of comics nonfiction I’ve read in years." — New York Magazine: Vulture
"Fitzgerald uses art to illuminate the human dimensions of [the refugee crisis], a situation often sketched in statistics." — The Atlantic
"This ode to her students isn’t just a portrayal of a city in flux or a people displaced—it is a portrait of the power of art." — Publishers Weekly
"It’s quite an extraordinary book—a thoughtful and deeply empathetic examination of displacement and hope, focusing on the situation of immigrants in Berlin, past and present." — The Rumpus
"Warm and occasionally surreal black-and-white drawings profoundly and respectfully humanize people too often rendered as statistics while encouraging contemplation of a more humane future." — Library Journal (starred review)
"Fitzgerald's somber, black-inked drawings are a good match to her serious, introspective tone but still leave room for lightness in the form of white space, expressive and smiling faces, and the off-the-page connections made through art." — Booklist
"Given the current political climate, this feels like an important book." — Book Riot