tales from outer suburbia

  • author: Shaun Tan
  • illustrations by the author
  • translator: Valdis Ābols

isbn: 978-9984-820-26-2

size: 19 x 24,5 cm

quantity: 96 pages

year: 2010

price: 8.50 €

A fantastically illustrated children’s book for grownups of all age groups. In this collection, each of 15 short stories illustrated by the author relates a strange situation or event that occurs in the very mundane and commonplace world of the suburbs.

A nut-size foreign exchange student arrives; a giant sea monster appears on someone’s lawn; a family discovers a previously unknown room in their own house; a Japanese diver in an old and wet diving-suit slowly walks down a street; a yard is decorated with vividly-painted ballistic missiles; people are expecting the appearance of a blind reindeer who demands some very special gifts, etc.

What these stories are really about is how people react to these weird events – how they discover, misunderstand or pretend not to understand the meaning behind them. In Shaun Tan’s imagination, suburb is a place where, like in a forest from medieval legends, everything is possible – a place that hides things of which people are not aware. In the Latvian translation this fusion of imagination and reality is expressed by the word ‘aizpilsēta’ – literally, ‘the beyond-city’.