Staff Picks: "The Arrival" by Shaun Tan
| by Kat Cyr
In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He’s embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life- he’s leaving home to build a better future for his family.
Tan, Shaun. The Arrival. 1st ed. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007, n.d.
I picked this graphic novel, intrigued by the cover illustration and utter lack of words inside. The Arrival is a familiar story told through the eyes of someone leaving his family behind to emigrate to a foreign land. Fantastical though the illustrations appear, they lovingly simulate immigration so that anyone can experience that disorientation of a new world for themselves. I am fascinated at how much information can be conveyed just in these few lavishly illustrated pages, from the confusion over new foods to the camaraderie of fellow immigrants.
As the news continues to report hate crimes against AAPI people, many of them immigrants and children of immigrants, The Arrival kept coming to mind. This simple story made me think more about immigrant experiences than studying abroad did. I would highly recommend this story to anyone, but especially to those who have never left their home country.
Borrow The Arrival from the library. We only have it in hardcopy, so request it here (go/paging/).
Kat Cyr, is an Interlibrary Loan Associate