Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995

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Overview

The winner of the 2001 Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album. Sacco spent five months in Bosnia in 1996, immersing himself in the human side of life during wartime, researching stories that are rarely found in conventional news coverage, emerging with this astonishing first-person account.

Praised by The New York Times, Brill's Content and Publishers Weekly, Safe Area Gorazde
is the long-awaited and highly sought after 240-page look at war in the former Yugoslavia. Sacco (the critically-acclaimed author of Palestine)
spent five months in Bosnia in 1996, immersing himself in the human side of life during wartime, researching stories that are rarely found in conventional news coverage. The book focuses on the Muslim-held enclave of Gorazde, which was besieged by Bosnian Serbs during the war.
Sacco lived for a month in Gorazde, entering before the Muslims trapped inside had access to the outside world, electricity or running water. Safe Area Gorazde
is Sacco's magnum opus and with it he is poised too become one of America's most noted journalists. The book features an introduction by Christopher Hitchens, political columnist for The Nation and Vanity Fair.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
“[Demonstrates] how brilliantly comics can serve as reportage.”
GQ
“Graphic in every sense of the term, Sacco’s account of everyday life in a city under siege puts one of the twentieth century’s least understood catastrophes in perspective; it’s the best argument around for comics as a journalistic medium.”
Utne Reader
“Harrowing and bleakly humorous, Sacco's account of life during the Balkan conflict is a timeless portrait of ordinary people caught in desperate circumstances. It's also a work of genius in an unlikely genre: journalism in comic book form.”
Time Magazine
“Sacco's detailed, personal reporting captures his subject matter more convincingly than photographs or Christiane Amanpour.”
Graphic Novel Reporter - William Jones
“Joe Sacco is an engaging and direct writer, but above all, he is a good journalist. Comics just happen to be the outlet for his reportage... [he is] a master of the unique medium of comics journalism.”
Sequential Tart - Suzette Chan
“Published soon after the conflict that it documents, Safe Area Gorazde is an intense reading experience and an active call for the condemnation of tribal and international leaders who put politics ahead of humanity.”
Only the Cinema - Ed Howard
“Joe Sacco is a unique figure in modern comics: there is no one else who combines sheer cartooning chops with a newspaper reporter's sensibility and instincts in quite the same way.... an especially powerful document of the effects of war.”
David Rieff
Of the myriad of books...about Bosnia, few have told the truth more bravely than Sacco's. He is an immense talent. —The New York Times Book Review
David Rieff
Who would have imagined that the best dramatic evocation of the Bosnian catastrophe would turn out to be a book-length comic strip? . . . But Sacco's book not only has dramatic force. More crucially, it has the emblematic quality of a good historical or political novel.
New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560974703
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 1/17/2002
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 263,343
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Sacco lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of many acclaimed graphic novels, including Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, But I Like It,
Notes from a Defeatist, The Fixer, War's End, and Footnotes in Gaza.

Christopher Hitchens (1949–2011) is the author of God Is Not Great, Hitch-22, and Why Orwell Matters.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best books about Bosnia you will ever read, and one of the most important graphic novels in recent history.

    Art Spiegalman's Maus is renowned for having dramatically pushed foward the artform of comics with his very personal tale of his family's experiences in the Holocaust.<BR/><BR/>Sacco's Safe Area Gorazde now pushes the form even further, taking us into the fractured Bosnia of the early 1990's with the eye of a journalist. The narrative concerns the city of Gorazde, a predominantly Bosniak (Muslim) area that is surrounded by Serb territory and which is only connected to the rest of the soon-to-be Muslim-Croat federation only by one narrow road on which UN convoys run. At first the story appears light-hearted as Sacco makes friends with the inhabitants of the town and gets his bearings - but as these inhabitants tell us their stories the truly gruesome nature of this conflict is unveiled and grotesquely illustrated through Sacco's detailed artwork. The narrative is supported not only by Sacco's illustrations (which provide a very realistic sense of the atmosphere of the place - something lacking in many other non-fiction books covering this conflict) but also by substantial research - at several points Sacco takes some time to explain the often confusing historical background to the conflict.<BR/><BR/>My only complaint is that the scope of the story is somewhat narrow and comes off as a bit biased - we never see anything from the Serb or Croat perspectives in this book, and that's a signifigant lack. But given the focus on a particular geogpraphic location it does to some extent make sense. <BR/><BR/>Anyone interested in the history of the Balkans or the recent conflict should certainly read this, as should anyone who is a fan of comics that truly push the artform in a new direction and show what it is capable of.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

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