Papaya salad / Elisa Macellari.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "The debut graphic novel from Thai-Italian illustrator Elisa Macellari, Papaya Salad tells the story of her great-uncle Sompong who found himself in Europe on military scholarship on the eve of World War II. A gentle and resolute man in love with books and languages, in search of his place in the world, Sompong chronicles his life during the war and falling for his wife, finding humor and joy even as the world changes irrevocably around him."-- Provided by publisher.
    • Notes:
      Translated from the Italian.
    • Other Titles:
      Papaya salad. English
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
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Booklist Reviews 2020 November #1

*Starred Review* Although Thai Italian artist Macellari's Kusama (2020) hit U.S. shelves first, Papaya Salad is actually her debut title, originally published in 2018 in her native Italy. Introducing her tale as "a story the protagonist told me when I was a child and which I stumbled across again as an adult in the form of a diary," Macellari takes readers on a 1985 family trip to Bangkok. When young Elisa declares her first taste of papaya salad to be "weird," Great-Uncle Sompong recalls his own youthful encounter with the typical Thai dish. In between naming the ingredients, Sompong delights Elisa with his childhood village adventures, his Bangkok education, and his decision to join the army for the promise of scholarships abroad. Driven by his gifted passion for languages and literature, he lands in Italy in 1940 as Hitler begins to consume the European continent. From Rome, Sompong is sent to Germany, Austria, France, and the U.S. (the American soldiers are the most inexcusably racist because of their inability to distinguish between Japanese and Thai citizens), before finally returning to Bangkok, having navigated "six years and six months" of dangers and deprivations. Reserving inviting tones of pink to fuchsia for the 1985 narrative frame, Macellari switches to mint-green backgrounds for panels featuring resplendent full color when depicting Sompong's peripatetic wartime journeys. Her glorious artistry honors Sompong's experiences with charm and resonance. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.