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the foreign exchange student
July 27, 2009 8:26 AM   Subscribe

The foreign exchange student "Some years ago we had a foreign exchange student come to live with us. We found it very difficult to pronounce his name correctly, but he didn’t mind. He told us just to call him 'Eric'." A short story in pictures by Shaun Tan. Previously.
posted by dhruva (38 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tremendous.
posted by boo_radley at 8:30 AM on July 27, 2009


That was lovely.
posted by dammitjim at 8:33 AM on July 27, 2009


That was well done.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:38 AM on July 27, 2009


That was tremendously lovely and well done.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 8:41 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Beautiful!
posted by jquinby at 8:41 AM on July 27, 2009


I'm not gonna lie. It freaked me out a little. Very Chris Van Allsburg-y.
posted by jock@law at 8:42 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Awesome drawings. Going on my "get from the library" list.
posted by DU at 8:45 AM on July 27, 2009


Lovely and magical. Thank you so much for sharing this!
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:46 AM on July 27, 2009


Nice.
posted by OmieWise at 8:52 AM on July 27, 2009


I didn't cry at that stupid wedding video - not even close - but for some reason, this has me pretty misty. I loved it.
posted by harperpitt at 8:55 AM on July 27, 2009


Adorable.
posted by The Straightener at 9:03 AM on July 27, 2009


Superlative!
posted by djgh at 9:09 AM on July 27, 2009


It came 17 years ago, and, to this day / It has shown no intention of going away
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:13 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


That was absolutely fantastic. Holy...
posted by notsnot at 9:26 AM on July 27, 2009


Wow, that was wonderful. Sweet without being cloying.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:38 AM on July 27, 2009


That made me go all 'aww'. Thanks.
posted by monocot at 9:40 AM on July 27, 2009


"And then we realized Eric was in a fact a polite, talking rat."
posted by KokuRyu at 9:41 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks. I've been short on whimsy lately, and this helped.
posted by majick at 9:44 AM on July 27, 2009


Shaun Tan is good. Glad to see him here!
posted by Termite at 9:46 AM on July 27, 2009


Awesome drawings. Going on my "get from the library" list.

Yes, me too. Thank you - this was lovely.
posted by librarianamy at 9:50 AM on July 27, 2009


This was really, really sweet and completely unlike whatever it was I was expecting to read when I clicked the link. Thank you for sharing it with the blue.
posted by Spatch at 9:58 AM on July 27, 2009


Cool.
posted by marxchivist at 10:06 AM on July 27, 2009


A delightful visual surprise, heart tugging, mysterious, gently surreal but on a backdrop of reality. Exploring your previously link was a nice treat after enjoying your first link.

I particularly liked the interview of your Shaun Tan link, his thoughts on art, "All fiction is false; what makes it convincing is that it runs alongside the truth. The real world has lots of incidental details, so a painting also has to have that element of imperfection and irregularity, those incidental details." An intriguing and stimulating thought.
posted by nickyskye at 10:09 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love when his little head is poking up behind the elephant enclosure.
posted by mdonley at 10:36 AM on July 27, 2009


Very Edward Gorey meets Katamari Damacy.
posted by acb at 10:42 AM on July 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Why is he an exchange student if he didn't go to school?
posted by educatedslacker at 11:10 AM on July 27, 2009


Beautiful. Thanks for posting this.
posted by creepygirl at 11:10 AM on July 27, 2009


I recently stumbled across Tan's The Arrival in the library and was blown away.
posted by tdismukes at 11:15 AM on July 27, 2009


Not to detract from the focus, but if you like Shaun Tan you will probably also like Chris Van Allsburg (who is well-known) and David Weisner (who is less well-known). Tuesday and Flotsam in particular (both Weisner) feature a very strange, wordless story with amazing artwork.
posted by DU at 11:38 AM on July 27, 2009


Charming!
posted by marginaliana at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2009


Adorable.
A friend's puppy chewed up my copy of Tuesday. Kicking a puppy seemed like it would be crossing some sort of ethical line though.
posted by juv3nal at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2009


Ooh. Very nice - I saw Shaun Tan's name and instantly knew this would be something special. The Arrival is one of my all-time favorite books (try reading it along to Cirque du Soleil's Koozå album for a truly bizarre experience; your brain will attempt to assimilate itself into a language that doesn't exist, and L'innocent, track 3, matches up beautifully to the scenes leading up to first sight of the city). This little story didn't disappoint, either.
posted by wanderingmind at 12:27 PM on July 27, 2009


I found The Arrival while shelving in the children's section. It's a wonderful surprise. This was also great.
posted by stoneegg21 at 12:44 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I also second DU's recommendation of David Weisner. I loved Tuesday.
posted by tdismukes at 1:38 PM on July 27, 2009


I didn't cry at that stupid wedding video - not even close - but for some reason, this has me pretty misty. I loved it.

Exactly. This little story warmed my little black heart.
posted by dogmom at 7:31 PM on July 27, 2009


great great story from a great author. Thanks.
posted by amrangaye at 1:09 PM on July 28, 2009


Great post, thanks!
posted by clearlydemon at 1:22 PM on July 28, 2009


I have a copy of Shaun Tan's 'The Lost Thing'

I fell in love with the drawings. It's an Art book which was mistakenly put in the Children's section.
posted by vacapinta at 4:36 AM on July 31, 2009


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