The Arrival|Shaun Tan
The Arrival
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In this wordless graphic novel, Tan captures the struggles and joy of the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images which tell the story of a man who leaves his homeland and his family to build a better life. Young adult.


  • ISBN-13: 9780439895293
  • ISBN-10: 0439895294
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
  • Publish Date: October 2007
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Page Count: 128
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-17

A whole new world

The antiqued look of the first few pages of Shaun Tan's The Arrival makes it clear you're in for something extraordinary. Following the wordless squares of sketched narrative is like watching a jittery old scrap of film dug up from the bottom of an archive; in appearance and feel, it calls to mind Chris Marker's lovely 1962 short film La Jetée. The plot is a classic—a man sets out to make his way in the big city, where he'll bring his family later—but this time it's infused with magic. The city is guarded by mammoth winged statues and covered in incomprehensible hieroglyphs; cute little alien creatures hide in unlikely corners. The lack of text or dialogue emphasizes the man's sense of alienation, but gradually he makes connections with other refugees and the frighteningly strange world becomes familiar.