Palimpsest: Documents From a Korean Adoption
Lisa Wool-rim Sjöblom, Drawn & Quarterly
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, tens of thousands of children were adopted internationally from South Korea. When New Zealand-based cartoonist and designer Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom begins to dig into the history of these adoptions and her own, she discovers a maze of bureaucracies more inclined to obfuscate than to assist. In this graphic memoir, Lisa searches for the truth about her adoption — how did she end up in homogenous Sweden, loved by her parents but dogged by feelings of alienation and dislocation? Who gave her up, when, and why? After years of research and overseas requests, Sjöblom finally discovers answers. With her own young children and supportive partner in tow, she travels to South Korea to grapple with what she has learned. The impending revelations are heartbreaking. Beautifully drawn and expertly paced, this book powerfully explores the seismic fissures that underpin international adoption.