Unex­pect­ed Pas­sages is a graph­ic mem­oir that tells the sto­ry of my grand­fa­ther, Irving’s, remark­able escape from the Holo­caust via Poland, Lithua­nia, Japan, and Chi­na, while reflect­ing on my own Jew­ish his­to­ry grow­ing up in the Unit­ed States, as the grand­daugh­ter of a sur­vivor. The book explores my family’s Yid­dish his­to­ry and my mother’s decades-long jour­ney toward trans­lat­ing Irving’s Yid­dish wartime let­ters. Kept for more than fifty years, the con­tents of the let­ters turned out to con­tain more ques­tions than answers about her grand­fa­ther as a young refugee.

All images cour­tesy of the author

Rachel Scheer is a comics artist and ele­men­tary school teacher in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton. Rachel’s comics have been pub­lished by Edu­topia, The Stranger, the Seat­tle Week­ly, Fan­ta­graph­ics and more. She is a recent recip­i­ent of a Trail­er Blaze artist res­i­den­cy and 4Culture grant for her graph­ic nov­el Unex­pect­ed Pas­sages.