Last night I went to an event hosted by the Glasgow Women’s Library where Kate Charlesworth, cartoonist, illustrator and writer but completely unknown to me, told a small audience about her new graphic novel, also completely unknown to me.
Review by Charlie, aged 5
I like this book because there’s different people in it, like Moonface, old Saucepan Man and Silky. The things that Saucepan Man says are too funny. And also, old Dame Washalot always washes.
I like the lands at the top of the tree. My favourite land was the Land of Presents.
It is a fat book [we have a three in one compendium].
I like to read this every night before I go to sleep.
This is Where I am is a narrative woven together from the differing perspectives of two central characters – Abdi an asylum seeker who has fled Somalia with his daughter, and Deborah, a woman who has withdrawn from her world after the death of her husband. The story centres around their journeys, both emotional and literal, to reconcile their past with their present.
Gradually we learn both of these character’s back stories and their own tragedies. Abdi fled Somalia and then a Kenyan refugee camp to seek asylum in Glasgow, but in the mayhem of his exodus his wife was left behind. Deborah spent much of her time caring for her husband, who eventually died of a muscle-wasting disease: at the point we meet her she is afraid to rebuild her life.