Farm 54

  • Review
By – November 18, 2011

Farm 54 con­tains three sto­ries, col­lab­o­ra­tions between a writer, Galit, and her broth­er, Gilad, an illus­tra­tor. The sto­ries can feel heavy-hand­ed but in con­trast with the light touch of the sketch­es the effect is poignant and roman­tic. Famil­iar grow­ing pains are set against a 1970’s and 80s Israeli back­ground: child­hood on a the fam­i­ly farm, work­ing at an egg fac­to­ry, phone calls from a father away at war, enlist­ing in the army, and a mil­i­tary oper­a­tion. Each page has only three illus­tra­tions of black lines blocked in with rosy laven­der, black, and the cream paper. The draw­ings are frame­less and often stand alone with­out words, empha­siz­ing the fact that although most things go unsaid in life, facial expres­sions and set­ting sup­ply ample tes­ti­mo­ny for the obser­vant read­er. Both sib­lings draw upon visu­al and emo­tion­al mem­o­ries for these semi-auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal sto­ries, which aim to be self-reflec­tive and hon­est. The book con­cludes with a sup­ple­men­tal chap­ter, Behind Farm 54,” with fam­i­ly pho­tographs and a dia­logue between Gilad and Galit dis­cussing their writ­ing process and the facts ver­sus fic­tions in the stories. 

Read Galit and Gilad Selik­tar’s Posts for the Vist­ing Scribe

Behind Farm 54: The Mak­ing of the Graph­ic Nov­el by Galit & Gilad Selik­tar
Behind Farm 54: The Mak­ing of the Sto­ry Span­ish Per­fume“
Behind Farm 54: The Mak­ing of the Sto­ry Hous­es”

Sam White lives in Brook­lyn and is from San Fran­cis­co and Bak­ers­field, CA.

Discussion Questions