Alpha; Abidjan to Paris.

Author:Dabbene, Peter
Position:Book review

Bessora, Barroux (illustrator), and Sarah Ardizzone (translator); ALPHA; Bellevue Literary Press (Comics & Graphic Novels: Comics & Graphic Novels) 24.99 ISBN: 9781942658405

Byline: Peter Dabbene

Inspired by the stories of refugees, Alpha is a moving and important account of the risks and hardships braved by illegal immigrants seeking a better life. A man's extraordinary efforts to reunite with his family are the basis of Bessora and Barroux's graphic novel.

Alpha Coulibaly is living in Abidjan, a major city of CA[acute accent]te d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in Africa. He longs to reunite with his wife, Patience, and their young son, Badian, who have gone ahead to Paris, where Patience's sister runs a hair salon. The thin hope of a better life in Europe is enough for many immigrants, including Alpha, to brave the daunting legal and physical obstacles that stand in the way.

Working whatever jobs he can find, saving money for months before he can afford the next leg of the trip, Alpha travels through Mali, to Algeria, to Morocco, and finally to Europe.

The tale is intimately told from Alpha's point of view, but he also tells the stories of many of the people he meets along the way, including a small boy traveling alone, Augustin...

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