POPPIES OF IRAQ

Brigitte Findakly & Lewis Trondheim

Poppies of Iraq is Brigitte Findakly’s nuanced tender chronicle of her relationship with her homeland Iraq, co-written and drawn by her husband, the acclaimed cartoonist Lewis Trondheim. In spare and elegant detail, they share memories of her middle class childhood touching on cultural practices, the education system, Saddam Hussein’s state control, and her family’s history as Orthodox Christians in the arab world. Poppies of Iraq is intimate and wide-ranging; the story of how one can become separated from one’s homeland and still feel intimately connected yet ultimately estranged.

Signs of an oppressive regime permeate a seemingly normal life: magazines arrive edited by customs;

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Poppies of Iraq is Brigitte Findakly’s nuanced tender chronicle of her relationship with her homeland Iraq, co-written and drawn by her husband, the acclaimed cartoonist Lewis Trondheim. In spare and elegant detail, they share memories of her middle class childhood touching on cultural practices, the education system, Saddam Hussein’s state control, and her family’s history as Orthodox Christians in the arab world. Poppies of Iraq is intimate and wide-ranging; the story of how one can become separated from one’s homeland and still feel intimately connected yet ultimately estranged.

Signs of an oppressive regime permeate a seemingly normal life: magazines arrive edited by customs; the color red is banned after the execution of General Kassim; Baathist militiamen are publicly hanged and school kids are bussed past them to bear witness. As conditions in Mosul worsen over her childhood, Brigitte’s father is always hopeful that life in Iraq will return to being secular and prosperous. The family eventually feels compelled to move to Paris, however, where Brigitte finds herself not quite belonging to either culture. Trondheim brings to life Findakly’s memories to create a poignant family portrait that covers loss, tragedy, love, and the loneliness of exile.

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  • Drawn & Quarterly
  • Hardcover
  • September 2017
  • 112 Pages
  • 9781770462939

Buy the Book

$21.95

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About Brigitte Findakly & Lewis Trondheim

Co-writer and colourist of Poppies of Iraq, Brigitte Findakly was born in Mosul, Iraq, in 1959 and lived there until 1973.

Cartoonist Lewis Trondheim was born in Fontainebleau, France in 1964. They have two children and live in the south of France.

Praise

“An Iraqi childhood is cherished, examined, and let go in this tender look at youth amid upheaval…Findakly’s story is an ode to a lost era, to be sure, but one with its feet planted securely in the present.”Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Poppies of Iraq is intimate and wide-ranging; the story of how one can become separated from one’s homeland and still feel intimately connected yet ultimately estranged.”Forbidden Planet