HABIBI is a deeply romantic story that explores and celebrates the beauty and cruelty, the complexity and depths of the Islamic world. Craig’s stunning artwork is matched by the haunting stories of his characters’ lives. Set in a mythical Middle East, at once contemporary and timeless, HABIBI is a parable about our relationship to the natural world, about the cultural divide between the First World and the Third World, and about the common heritage of Christianity and Islam. The magic of storytelling allows us to see the fragility embedded in cruelty, to understand how beauty can preserve us from destruction and how love can save us from loss of hope.
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Craig Thompson discusses and signs his long-awaited graphic novel at the Brattle Theatre (40 Brattle St. Cambridge, MA 02138) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM! Hosted by the Harvard Book Store. Tickets go on sale September 1st! ($5 click the link)
Harvard Book Store is thrilled to host Harvey and Eisner Award–winning graphic novelist CRAIG THOMPSON for a discussion of his newest work, Habibi, an Arabian Nights–like love story.
Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.
Craig Thompson’s previous graphic novels include Blankets (for which he received three Harvey Awards for Best Artist, Best Graphic Album of Original Work, and Best Cartoonist; and two Eisner Awards for Best Graphic Album and Best Writer/Artist); Goodbye, Chunky Rice; and Carnet de Voyage. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
“Thompson’s first graphic novel in seven years is a lushly epic love story that’s both inspiring and heartbreaking, intertwined with parables from both Islam and Christianity. Sold into marriage as a young girl, Dodola endures life as the wife of a scribe until she’s captured by slave traders and brought to Wanatolia to be auctioned off. But before she can be sold again, she escapes, taking with her an abandoned toddler named Habibi. The pair runaway to the desert, taking refuge in an abandoned boat, where they survive for nine years, with Dodola teaching Zam the ways of the world through stories from the Qur’an and the Bible. When Zam is 12, he secretly follows Dodola and realizes that she has been prostituting herself to passing caravans in order to acquire food. They are separated when Dodola is taken against her will to become part of a sultan’s harem, leaving Zam alone in the desert. Six long years pass as the two struggle to find their way back to each other and, overcoming enormous odds, eventually end up far from the ancient desert landscape in a contemporary metropolis that underscores Thompson’s subtle ability to blend the timeless and the current. In addition to richly detailed story panels, the gorgeous Arabic ornamental calligraphy makes each page an individual work of art.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)