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Graphic Lit

from the February 2012 issue

from “The International”

Both travel book and testimony, L'intruse records the experiences of a French human rights activist in the Middle East. Roannie, a retired pediatrician and member of Amnesty International, spent nine months over several years as an "international" in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The French artist Oko heard her stories and suggested she publish her experiences in graphic form. The resulting collaboration was published in three volumes: Le Decouverte, Les Palestinians, and Les Israeliens. This extract, from Le Decouverte, describes Roannie's first days in the region. The title L'intruse [The Intruder] reflects Roannie's feelings upon arriving in Israel: "Foreign, intrusive, a nuisance, unwelcome."

Click image below to enlarge

From L'Intruse Volume 1 by Roannie and Oko. © 2008 by Editions Vertige Graphic. Rights arranged through Nicolas Grivel Agency. All rights reserved.


French writer Roannie, a member of Amnesty International and a pediatrician, became increasingly committed to peace work after her retirement. Between 2002 and 2005, she made multiple trips to the Middle East as an "international." Her graphic account of her experiences, L'Intruse, with illustrations by the French artist Oko, was published in three volumes: Le Decouverte, Les Palestinians, and Les Israeliens.


Oko is a French graphic artist.

Translated from French by Edward Gauvin

A 2021 Guggenheim fellow, Edward Gauvin has translated in various fields from film to fiction, with a personal focus on contemporary comics (BD) and post-Surrealist literatures of the fantastic. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, and World Literature Today, and twice placed in the British Comparative Literature Association’s John Dryden Translation Competition. It has also been shortlisted for several major awards—the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, the National Translation Award—and twice nominated for French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He has received fellowships from the NEA, PEN America, the Fulbright program, and the Centre National du Livre, as well as residencies from Ledig House, the Lannan Foundation, the Banff Centre, and the Belgian government. A multiple grantee of the French Voices program from the French Embassy, he is a frequent contributor to their cultural initiatives. As a translation advocate, he has written widely, spoken at universities and festivals, and taught at the Bread Loaf Translation Conference, where he will be returning (virtually) this summer. The translator of over 400 graphic novels, he is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders.


Photo credit: Quitterie de Fomervault-Bernard © 2016.

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