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Dance by the Light of the Moon

Dance by the Light of the Moon

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By Judith Vanistendael. Translated by Ina Rilke. Published by Self Made Hero. 

Softcover, 152 pages, B&W, 2010 (originally published in Flemish in 2007)

Dance by the Light of the Moon is a moving love story inspired by the author's relationship with a Togolese political refugee. It began as a response to the publication of a short story, 'Message from the Fortress', written by the author's father, Geert van Istendael. In this, her father gave vent to his feelings about the relationship. At first angry with her father, the author publicly responded by reclaiming the story in this, what she terms, “semi-autobiographical” story. While the first part of the graphic novel is told from her father’s perspective, the second part is told in flashback by the protagonist, Sophie, to her young daughter. This is a beautiful, unexpected tale, told from the heart, which reaches far beyond the story that originally inspired it. It tells of a young woman who is madly in love, and a father who, in spite of his prejudices, stands up for her love. More than that, it is about families, growing up, heartbreak and real life.

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