Book Review: Burmese Daze

French-Canadian cartoonist Guy Delisle’s Asian travelogue navigates culture shock with a keen eye.

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In 2005, French-Canadian cartoonist Guy Delisle spent a year living in Burma with his wife, a Medecins Sans Frontieres administrator, and their toddler son. Burma Chronicles explores the absurdities and anxieties of life in the military dictatorship, from asking the government-run Internet provider to stop blocking (and presumably reading) emails to suddenly realizing that an innocuous comment made to a Western journalist could land a Burmese friend in jail. Delisle is constantly trying to burst through his expat bubble, whether he’s sneaking a peek at his neighbor Aung San Suu Kyi’s house, traveling into the countryside without a permit, hanging out at the local Buddhist monastery, or quietly teaching computer animation classes. As in his previous Asian travelogues, Pyongyang and Shenzhen, Delisle navigates politics and culture shock with a keen eye and gentle humor.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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