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Graphic Lit

from the February 2011 issue

War Rabbit

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Rutu Modan

Rutu Modan was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1966.  After graduating from the distinguished Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, she began regularly writing and illustrating comic strips and stories for Israel’s leading daily newspapers, as well as co-editing the Israeli edition of Mad Magazine.  With Yirmi Pinkus, she was a co-founder of the Actus Tragicus alternative comics collective in 1995.  A widely published illustrator, Modan contributes to magazines and books around the world, including the New York Times, the New YorkerLe Monde, and many others.  Two of her comics series have appeared in the New York Times: “Mixed Emotions” appeared as a monthly comics blog in 2007, and “The Murder of the Terminal Patient” appeared as a weekly serial in the New York Times Magazine in 2008.

Modan has frequently collaborated with the acclaimed Israeli writer Etgar Keret, and provided illustrations for his book Dad Runs away with the Circus (Candlewick Press, 2004). Her first graphic novel, Exit Wounds (Drawn & Quarterly, 2007), a haunting story about the unidentified victim of a suicide bombing, and two people who struggle to learn his identity, won the 2008 Will Eisner Award for best graphic novel of the year.  This was followed by Jamilti (Drawn & Quarterly, 2008), a collection of her earlier graphic short stories. Her children’s picture book Maya at the Palace will be published by TOON Books in 2012, and she is currently at work on her next graphic novel, a comedy in which an elderly Israeli woman travels to Warsaw to reclaim her family's apartment, lost during WWII, while secretly hoping to meet the Polish lover of her youth.

Modan lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and two children.

Igal Sarna

Igal Sarna, born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1952, writes feature stories for the daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot. After serving as a tank commander in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, he was one of the ex-soldiers who founded the Peace Now movement. He received the IBM Tolerance Prize for a series of cover stories he wrote on Iranian political prisoners in Israel, and in 1998 he was awarded a Fulbright grant and spent a semester at the University of Iowa International Writing Program.  His books include fiction and nonfiction.  He has published, in Hebrew, a biography of the poet Yona Wallach; a novel, Tzayad Ha-Zikaron (Hunter of Memory); and most recently, Muzungu: The Story of the Airplane that Crashed on the Moon-Mountains.  A collection of his essays was published in English as Broken Promises: Israeli Lives (UK, Atlantic Books), and as The Man Who Fell Into a Puddle (US, Pantheon/Vintage).  His books have been praised by, among others, The Times Literary Supplement: "Sarna touches on all the themes of Israel's modern tragedy. Thoughtful and humane . . . A marvelous book." He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and two children.

Translated from Hebrew by G. H. Freedman

G. H. Freedman, who translates from the Hebrew, is a writer, graphic designer, and illustrator. A graduate of Harvard College and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, she was previously an editorial illustrator at the Jerusalem Post and art director at She is currently working on a novel for children and lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.

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