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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Reader's Diary #2175 - Elisa Macellari: Papaya Salad

In Elisa Macellari's Papaya Salad she recounts her great-uncle Sompong's life as a child in Thailand, then moving to Europe at the height of World War II. 

It's an interesting book for sure. To imagine someone from Asia moving to Italy and Germany of all places during World War II is more than a little bonkers. And when the war ended, as he was mistaken for Japanese who were of course were part of the axis, meant a lot of hatred from American troops. 

Throughout it all though Sompong remains stoic and unflappable. That someone could keep this demeanour is amazing but also sterilizes the book a little. 

The art is highly stylized and not in a particular style I enjoy. There seems to be a lot of illustrators who all draw this weird way that I can't describe except for individual features. Noses, for example, are all coloured differently than the rest of the face. Lines are thin. Anyway, not an objective criticism, just a personal one that it isn't my thing. The colours are all muted pastels. 

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