Book Review: Burmese Daze

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


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.

IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT MEDIA BIAS

We believe that journalism needs to stand for something right now. That the press is the enemy of secrecy and corruption. That reporting without a sense of right and wrong only helps liars and propagandists succeed. And that we're in this fight for the long haul.

So we're hoping to raise $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall. Read our argument for journalism that is fair and accurate and stands for something—and join us with a tax-deductible monthly donation (or make a one-time gift) if you agree.