the biblio files

The Biblio Files: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Pashmina is the debut graphic novel from one of my favorite artists, Nidhi Chanani, that focuses on the coming-of-age of Priyanka “Pri” Das, an Indian teen living in America with her single mother. She has tons of questions as to why her mother left India and what happened to her father (who she’s never met), but the more her mother keeps mum, the more curious she becomes of her roots. One day she happens upon a pashmina and finds herself transported to a fantastical and vibrant version of India. Whenever she wraps it around herself, it takes her further and further into the depths of India and unravels the mystery that is her family.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read this book, but I really wanted to share it on here because it resonated with me on another level. When you’re the first generation from an immigrant family in America (or anywhere for that matter), you must figure out how to balance two cultures. I loved the way Nidhi portrayed that; it was so relatable… sometimes to the point where it hurt just a wee bit.

I also loved the transition from black and white (every day scenes) to saturated color (scenes set in India) within its pages pages. It felt an analogy for the experience of growing up with two cultures — one seems less than compared to the other, but you soon discover there’s a whole side of you that’s rich in history and traditions. Well, that was my takeaway, anyway!

On Free Comic Book Day back in May, I trekked to Isotope Comics in San Francisco to get my booked signed! Nidhi was super sweet and took the time to chat with me, too 🙂

Have you read Pashmina? Let’s discuss in the comments section! If you’d like to get a copy of Pashmina, go here or pick it up at your local bookstore or comic shop.

Cheers,
Nina

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