On my nightstand right now: Barefoot Gen, Vol. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima. It’s a manga that is famous in Japan for being heart-wrenchingly sad and true. In it, author Keiji Nakazawa tells the story of Gen, a boy who survived the atomic bomb. I am still only halfway through the first volume, and the bomb has not dropped yet, but it’s about to. Even the author’s foreword is a total tear-jerker &mdash he tells the story of how he survived the bomb with his mom, who was pregnant and had to watch her husband and other child burn to death because she didn’t have the strength to remove the debris that was burying them.
Barefoot Gen was actually one of the first manga to ever be published in English &mdash a group of volunteers who called themselves Project Gen took it upon themselves to translate several volumes (there are ten total) in the 70s. Currently, there are eight volumes available in English through Last Gasp. I am looking forward to reading all of them because this is one of those manga that I never read as a kid, but have always wanted to.
Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa