Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq
“Glidden’s clean, spare cartoons take a behind-the-scenes approach. Readers expecting a book about the region and its recent history may be surprised at how many pages are taken up with heartfelt conversations on the theme, ‘What is journalism?'”—Christine Smallwood, Harper’s Magazine
Cartoonist Sarah Glidden accompanies her two friends—reporters and founders of a journalism non-profit—as they research potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. Joining the trio is a childhood friend and former Marine whose past service in Iraq adds an unexpected and sometimes unwelcome viewpoint, both to the people they come across and perhaps even themselves. As the crew works their way through Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, Glidden observes the reporters as they ask civilians, refugees, and officials, “Who are you?” Everyone has a story to tell: the Iranian blogger, the United Nations refugee administrator, a taxi driver, the Iraqi refugee deported from the U.S., the Iraqis seeking refuge in Syria, and even the American Marine. Painted in her trademark soft, muted watercolors and written with a self-effacing humor, Rolling Blackouts cements Glidden’s place as one of today’s most original nonfiction voices.
Sarah Glidden is the author of How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, published in 2010 and translated into five languages. Glidden’s work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines and anthologized in The Best American Comics. She lives in Seattle, Washington.