Guy Delisle, who grew up in middle class Quebec City, has come to be known for sharply observed graphic-novel travelogues from very uncomfortable places (Pyongyang, Shenzhen, Rangoon, Jerusalem). A few years ago, when his wife left her job with Doctors Without Borders, the international non-governmental organization that led to so much of his foreign adventuring, Delisle no doubt faced an identity crisis. What to write about? In his latest book he embraces the problem: Hostage, originally published in French last year, swaps the exotic locales of his earlier work for the confines of captivity, telling the true story of a French aid worker who was kidnapped in 1997 and spent months as a prisoner of mysterious jailers in Chechnya.
One senses Delisle posing for himself the ultimate challenge—of jettisoning all his strengths as a graphic novelist and wondering if he will make it, a daring high-wire act...
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