Red Win­ter

Broken Pencil - - Book Reviews -

An­neli Furma, 168 pgs, Drawn & Quar­terly, draw­nandquar­terly.com, $24.95.

In the mid­dle of a cold, dark win­ter and rising ten­sions amidst the Swedish labour move­ment, Siv and Ul­rik fall in love. Siv is a mother of three chil­dren and wife of dull, but re­li­able work­ing-class man. Ul­rik is an im­pas­sioned stu­dent dream­ing of a Com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion. They meet un­der the clear and cold skies of a sub-arc­tic win­ter feel­ing equally rest­less with their lives. Ul­rik wants them to run away to­gether. Siv, who is 14 years his se­nior, is cau­tious.

The story and il­lus­tra­tions in this graphic novel work to­gether to cre­ate a cold, lonely, and brood­ing tale. Siv re­flects, “I’m smoth­ered and lonely at the same time. How can a per­son be alone with three chil­dren, one hus­band, and one lover?” The com­bi­na­tion of the po­lit­i­cal ten­sions, deep cold, iso­la­tion, and hope­less ro­mance cre­ates a feel­ing of im­pris­on­ment. In Siv’s words, “I’m a prisoner of this win­ter. Win­ter and cap­i­tal­ism.”

With­out some un­der­stand­ing of the

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