This is the first time I’ve ever read a graphic novel that is a collection of stories rather than one single tale and it was certainly a rather interesting experience. This Place; 150 Years Retold is a collection of short stories in a graphic format which tell the tales of real people from the past of Canada whose stories have been told by people who do not even share their race or stories that simply may not have been told at all. Indigenous authors Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Chelsea Vowel, Katherena Vermette, Jen Storm, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, David Alexander Robertson, Richard Van Camp, and Brandon Mitchell have come together to provide the world with accounts of indigenous people who helped Canada become what it is today and, sometimes, of their own ancestors and the hardships that they all went through. It is a collection that portrays history from eyes that, for once, do not belong to the conquerors who invaded and changed their world as we so often see in today’s society.
Admittedly, history is not always my favorite subject to read about, but many of these stories were thoroughly engaging and interesting. I definitely feel that I prefer them, to an extent, in graphic format as it allowed me the opportunity to enmesh myself with the story in an entirely new way. The inclusion of various authors within one graphic novel was a little rough at times as the artistic style would consistently change from story to story and some were far better than others. This made the transition from story to story somewhat staggered rather than smooth and I think perhaps a reordering of which stories come after each other might benefit the book greatly.
As for the stories themselves, they were all well done and enjoyable to read. I’m certainly very glad that these authors had the opportunity to put these tales out into the world and I hope that they are read by many. Some, particularly the one about the war hero returned home to nothing, were truly poignant and devastating to read. Ultimately, I had a good time reading this graphic novel and would certainly recommend it.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.