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A Conjuring In The Gyre

A Conjuring In The Gyre


An Illustrated Novella by Anelisa Garfunkel

A Conjuring In The Gyre is a new book for Young Adults. Written and illustrated by Anelisa Garfunkel as part of the MFA Visual Narrative program at the School of Visual Arts. Interested publishers can contact Anelisa to learn more about the story and obtain a copy.

This futuristic folktale is the story of Lehlia, a young outlier who lives on an isolated island in the middle of a depleted Pacific Ocean. Her people have long suffered from the devastating reaches of modernization and climate change. Their connection to the natural world and their ancient traditions all but disappeared. When a catastrophic wave wipes away everything Lehlia has ever known, the resilient 12-year old is forced to flee her drowning island and embark on a journey that will send her straight into the jaws of the mythic Great Pacific Gyre, a toxic vortex thriving on the waste of a throwaway world. Lehlia will need to call on the wisdom of her ancestors to escape the onslaught of chaos that the modern world has stirred up, and ultimately will have to find harmony between the two to survive.

This story began as stop-motion animated short film called, The Legend of Lehlia Luz, and evolved over several years into a long-format illustrated novella. Although the medium of A Conjuring In The Gyre is a bit of a departure from Anelisa’s previous work as a filmmaker, the graphic illustrations and lyrical style of the narrative draw heavily on Anelisa’s cinematic roots. The story was inspired by Anelisa’s time sailing across the Atlantic Ocean and living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the island of Pohnpei. In Pohnpei she created educational films that focused on the pressing socio-economic issues that threatened these isolated island communities. While there, she observed the stark contrasts between the traditional societies of the people of Micronesia and the influx of Western culture that often had drastically negative effects on the islands and their people. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and the loss of these rich island cultures due to modernization and climate change were part of every conversation.  

To learn more about Anelisa's process view her MFA Thesis Talk.


Read an excerpt...