Lissa: A Story About Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution

A collaborative project with Sherine Hamdy (Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Irvine) and Coleman Nye (Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University) and fellow illustrator Caroline Brewer.  I illustrated Anna's story, Caroline illustrated Layla's, and we merged our work on their shared scenes in the beginning and end of the story to convey their connection and place in each other's world.

Anna is the daughter of an American couple working in Cairo. Layla is the daughter of the doorman in Anna’s apartment building. Together they strike up an unlikely friendship that is put to the test when both girls are faced with family health crises at home and revolutionary unrest on the streets. As Anna and Layla reckon with illness, risk, and loss in different ways, they learn the power of friendship and the importance of hope. Ultimately, they must recognize that there is still time to fight for a better tomorrow, together.

Lissa brings anthropological research to life in comic form. This powerful fictional story deftly bridges the experiences of two young women—one dealing with kidney failure and organ transplantation in Egypt, and the other with breast cancer genetics and prevention in the US. It is the first book in a new series designed to combine scholarly insights with visually rich storytelling in order to foster greater understanding of global politics, inequalities, and social life.

Published on November 16th 2017 by University of Toronto Press. Below are selected pages that I illustrated.

Order on Amazon here or UTP's website here

Official Lissa Website

Since its publication Lissa has won a 2018 Prose Award for Cultural Anthropology and Sociology, has an excerpt in Pen America’s 21st Issue: Mythologies, an interview with Jadaliyya, as well as features in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, CaMP Anthropology, The Lancet, American AnthropologistPop Matters, Ganzeer, Somatosphere, Anthropology Now, Medical Humanities and many more!

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