“Fitzgerald celebrates the cathartic powers of art in her memoir recalling comic workshops she led in Berlin’s refugee shelters. Fitzgerald’s sinuous inks capture [her students’] faces and their creations with warm dexterity—her depictions of children and their drawings are especially tender. 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
"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
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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.