Olivia had always heard stories about Algeria from her maternal grandmother who emigrated to France after the Algerian War of Independence. After her grandmother’s death, Olivia discovered some of her grandmother’s journals and letters describing her homeland. Ten years later, she resolves to travel to Algeria and experience the country for herself; she arrives alone, with her grandmother’s postcards and letters in tow, and a single phone number in her pocket of an Algerian, Djaffar, who will act as her guide. Olivia’s quest to understand her origins will bring her to face questions about heritage, history, shame, friendship, memory, nostalgia, fantasy, the nature of exile, and our unending quest to understand who we are and where we come from.
This travelogue memoir written by Olivia Burton and illustrated by Mahi Grand explores the rich heritage and tumultuous modern history of Algeria.