“Siberian Haiku” is a story of exile, told to
children, through the lips of a child. The comic book about exile by writer
Jurga Vilė and illustrator Lina Itagaki shocks with its simplicity and sense of
The main character of the book – Algiukas – has childhood
dreams and lives a childhood full of miracles. However, in June 1941, early in
the morning, he and his whole family were woken up by soldiers. The family
leaves for a foreign and unfamiliar land of ice, where they have to survive hunger,
disease and hard work, where there are no Lithuanian apples and no storks…
The story told in the comic book “Siberian Haiku”
by Jurga Vilė and Lina Itagaki is true. J. Vilė based her writing on the real
stories of her father and other family exiles.
The word “haiku” in the title of this book came
from the author reading her grandmother’s memoirs from Siberia. Everything was
simple about them, and that simplicity when it comes to such extraordinary
experiences is breathtaking, similar to the short Japanese poems – haiku.
Lina Itagaki, the illustrator of the book, draws in the book
the authentic environment that she saw in surviving photographs and books of
memories of exiles.