Books

the discovery

A childhood in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq

Brigitte Findakly’s poignant and powerful graphic memoir recounts her childhood as an Orthodox Christian in a middle-class family living in Iraq. Co-written by Findakly and husband Lewis Trondheim and illustrated by Trondheim, “Poppies of Iraq’’ (Drawn and Quarterly) offers a window into the culture and history of Findakly’s homeland. It also serves up details about arranged marriages, wedding-day practices and pubic hair, economic divisions in homes and schools, food, and familial ties, as well as a look at the oppressive political landscape under Saddam Hussein. Nuggets of detail are deftly depicted by Trondheim in hundreds of small illustrations, and photographs of the author’s family are leafed throughout. Findakly has lived much of her life in France, and above all, the book is a meditation on the ache and longing for a place you can no longer return.

NINA MACLAUGHLIN

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