It’s not every day that an adult reader comes across an illustrated book dealing with themes that appeal to his or her interests. In Jamilti and Other Stories, Rutu Modan has written an important collection of graphic short stories that combine art and current events. For example, the title story, which is about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, raises the issues of terrorism and human rights. In this story as in the others, Modan does not divulge her views but instead stays neutral, letting readers decide matters of right and wrong for themselves. Modan’s artwork is sometimes rough and crude, sometimes stunningly beautiful, but it always evokes strong emotions. All the stories are set in Israel; all leave us on edge. Modan does not give us the happy endings we all like, but instead lets us wonder, digest, and then crave more. This is her strongest attribute and makes the book well worth reading.
Libi is a first-time mom living in New Jersey. She works in fundraising and events at Yeshiva University and is pursuing a master’s degree in Marketing.