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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



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A Few Perfect Hours: And Other Stories from Southeast Asia & Central Europe

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A Few Perfect Hours: And Other Stories from Southeast Asia & Central Europe Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Autobiographical cartoonist Josh Neufeld takes us on a dramatic tour of places as exotic and different as Thailand, the former Yugoslavia, and New York City. Highlights include Neufeld and traveling companion Sari Wilson on a volunteer expedition to an organic farm in Malaysia, their stint as extras in a Chinese-language Singaporean soap opera, a train trip through war-torn Serbia, and a near-disastrous cave adventure in Thailand. With gentle humor and a keen eye for the revelatory detail, Neufeld explores religion and spirituality, politics and personalities, and the mysteries of everyday life. His stories reflect the backpacker's conflicted feelings: a yearning for adventure mixed with homesickness and a sense of disconnection, trapped in a reality constantly in flux. In the collection's title story, Neufeld illustrates how the tensions and fears involved in travel through a strange country are dispelled by a Thai monk's blessing. In "On a Mission," Neufeld contrasts the viewpoints of American Baptist missionaries in northern Thailand with the traditions of a Buddhist festival. And in "Cremations, Cubicles &Cant," Neufeld juxtaposes his grandmother's Jewish funeral with a Hindu cremation ceremony he witnessed on Bali.

Review:

"Neufeld and his girlfriend, Sari, have traveled all over the world, and like all travelers, they've come back with stories. Unlike most travelers, though, Neufeld makes a point of trying to understand what these stories mean, why he reacts to his experiences the way he does and what results from the friction between his own culture and the cultures where he's a tourist. That comes to a head in this work's final tale, 'Cremations, Cubicles & Cant,' in which Neufeld considers the death and funeral of his grandmother in the context of his travels, and the significance of funeral rites within and outside her community. In another story, Neufeld tries to imagine his uneasy interaction with a Serbian ice cream salesman from the other man's perspective. The book's highlight is 'The Cave of Fear,' a story about a day trip in Thailand. Neufeld is drawn to the trip's potential for danger, and what might ordinarily be a merely entertaining anecdote becomes the occasion for lucid, unsparing self-examination. Neufeld draws himself as a slightly neurotic caricature, and his backgrounds show how salient details can be reduced to a few clear lines. He has an appealingly clean visual style and uses it to highlight the differences between his tourist self and his surroundings. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781891867798
Author:
Neufeld, Josh
Publisher:
Alternative Comics
Subject:
General
Subject:
Asia - Southeast
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Graphic Novels - General
Subject:
Description and travel
Subject:
Europe, central
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20110531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Young adult
Language:
English
Illustrations:
YES
Pages:
108
Dimensions:
10.08x6.66x.39 in. .51 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » General
Travel » Asia » Southeast Asia
Travel » Travel Writing » General

A Few Perfect Hours: And Other Stories from Southeast Asia & Central Europe Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 108 pages Alternative Comics - English 9781891867798 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Neufeld and his girlfriend, Sari, have traveled all over the world, and like all travelers, they've come back with stories. Unlike most travelers, though, Neufeld makes a point of trying to understand what these stories mean, why he reacts to his experiences the way he does and what results from the friction between his own culture and the cultures where he's a tourist. That comes to a head in this work's final tale, 'Cremations, Cubicles & Cant,' in which Neufeld considers the death and funeral of his grandmother in the context of his travels, and the significance of funeral rites within and outside her community. In another story, Neufeld tries to imagine his uneasy interaction with a Serbian ice cream salesman from the other man's perspective. The book's highlight is 'The Cave of Fear,' a story about a day trip in Thailand. Neufeld is drawn to the trip's potential for danger, and what might ordinarily be a merely entertaining anecdote becomes the occasion for lucid, unsparing self-examination. Neufeld draws himself as a slightly neurotic caricature, and his backgrounds show how salient details can be reduced to a few clear lines. He has an appealingly clean visual style and uses it to highlight the differences between his tourist self and his surroundings. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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