Lissa: A Story about Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution is the first book in a series that presents ethnographic research in graphic novel form. An anthropological study of medicine, friendship, and the 2011 Egyptian uprising, this graphic novel expands the ways anthropologists can write and present ethnographic research. The book is divided into three parts: “Cairo,” “Five Years Later,” and “Revolution.” Individually, each section presents a range of themes that are juxtaposed through Layla and Anna’s unlikely friendship. As a whole, the three sections chart the growth of Layla and Anna and their ways of reconciling illness, death, and political turmoil that lead to the 2011 Egyptian uprising.

The first section, “Cairo,” introduces Layla and Anna by foregrounding issues of class, which set the stage for understanding Layla and Anna’s experiences throughout the story. Layla is...

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