A wordless graphic novel by Shaun Tan about an nameless immigrant in a strange land. Drawn in beautiful hyper-realism, the book incorporates fantastical landscapes and an invented alphabet to convey the confusions of a new place and unfamiliar language.
This work contains examples of the following tropes:
- An Immigrant's Tale: With the twist that the place he's immigrating to (and the one he's immigrating from) isn't at all real.
- Book Ends: Near the beginning of the novel, the confused protagonist asks a stranger for directions; at its end, his daughter gives directions to a newcomer.
- Fish out of Water
- Funny Foreigner: The protagonist, at first and from the point of view of others.
- Scenery Porn: It's Shaun Tan, what's your next question?
- Show, Don't Tell: Heavy reliance on visuals and no written words. Even the texts appear in this book are completely alien and made up by the artist. The imagery allows us to emphasize with the main character and his journey into a new world that will be his new home for his family.