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Edel Rodriguez
Illustrating a review of a complex novel
posted:
I often get assignments to illustrate reviews of novels that are based in foreign countries.  This image was for a recent review of "Lost City Radio", by Daniel Alarcon, a story based in a fictional Latin American city. 
Sometimes I try to find an iconic image that brings all the disparate elements together, but, in this case, I thought I'd show much of the complexity, probably because I just couldn't think of a visually simple solution.  I think having the main character in the center solves some of the problems, I'm glad the A.D. went with that sketch. 

The Publisher's Weekly review is below, followed by some of the sketches.

From Publishers Weekly

"Set in a fictional South American nation where guerrillas have long clashed with the government, Alarcón's ambitious first novel (after the story collection War by Candlelight) follows a trio of characters upended by civil strife. Norma, whose husband, Rey, disappeared 10 years ago after the end of a civil war, hosts popular radio show Lost City Radio, which reconnects callers with their missing loved ones. (She quietly entertains the notion that the job will also reunite her with her missing husband.) So when an 11-year-old orphan, Victor, shows up at the radio station with a list of his distant village's "lost people," the station plans a special show dedicated to his case and cranks up its promotional machine. Norma, meanwhile, notices a name on the list that's an alias her husband used to use, prompting her to resume her quest to find him. She and Victor travel to Victor's home village, where local teacher Manau reveals to Norma what she's long feared—and more. Though the mystery Alarcón makes of the identity of Victor's father isn't particularly mysterious, this misstep is overshadowed by Alarcón's successful and nimbly handled portrayal of war's lingering consequences."
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