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Eisele, Terry & Bowman, Brent – Far Tune: Winter

Website (Terry)

Website (Brent)

Far Tune: Winter

A bit of personal history here, which applies to why I used the sample image. Back in my early days of working at the Board of Elections in Columbus (I’ve since moved on to a different BOE, which confirms that I’m a glutton for punishment), I noticed that a whole lot of names that we got from the naturalization process were for January 1st of whatever year. It took me a few years to get a solid answer as to why that was the case, but if you’re curious, Fartun lays out the reasoning here. I’d just let everybody pick their own birthday, which is one more reason why I’ll never rule the world. Anyway, this volume picks up shortly after the holiday break is over, and we’re shown exactly why that’s an odd time to be in Ohio from somebody who went from a refugee camp to a few years in London. We see a bit more of the camp too, including more detail about how Fartun’s mother died and her reaction at the time. There’s a constant background tension around her brother and father; guess I’ll find out in the next volume whether it gets resolved or if it’s just a part of trying to fit into a foreign (and often hostile) culture. This volume spends a lot of time on slam poetry, so if you’re as unfamiliar with it as I was you’re going to learn a few new things here. We also see some of the more overt racism so far, as Fartun is forced to participate with another school because her bully told everybody to boycott the team if she (Fartun) was on it. It’s a fascinating subculture, with a lot more rules that I would have guessed. Oh, and there’s also a bit of Somali mythology, as she tells her friend Bea the story of Dhegdheer, essentially a monster that was used to keep children from wandering off but with a tragic backstory. There are at least a few actual poems included from the time depicted (still in 2005), which was a nice touch, and it showed that she had some serious poetry skills right off the bat. It looks like the series concludes in the next volume (so much for my theory for their being a book for each of the four seasons), and these are some hefty books that are currently going for $10 each on Amazon. Or maybe a package deal if you’re lucky enough to run into Terry at a con…