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.
While I was in Hawaii, I thought I was going to have all this downtime to read. But I was wrong. SO WRONG. It wasn’t until my flight back home that I was able to read volume 3 of Ms. Marvel and Operation S.I.N.: Agent Carter. If you’re down with the badass ladies of Marvel, then you should definitely pick both of these graphic novels up! Operation S.I.N. won’t exactly fill that hole in your heart if you’re missing the Agent Carter tv show with queen Hayley Atwell playing the titular role like somethin’ fierce, but it helps a wee bit.
Operation S.I.N. follows Peggy Carter a few years after the war and she suddenly finds herself lured into a crazy mission led by Howard Stark after an alien energy source is discovered in Russia, and it’s up to the two of them to track down its location. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but there’s a dude that can turn into a bear and a Russian gulag run by Hydra. Hydra, aliens, gulags, and bears, OH MY!
The story takes place in the Marvel comic universe, rather than the cinematic one that most of us (-ahem– me) are used to, so I was slightly taken aback when Peggy says she’s American and not British. It’s an easy detail to get over once you immerse yourself in the story and see that Peggy’s razor sharp wit and overall badassery is still intact. 🙂
I’m trying my best to get into the swing of reading regularly like I used to, but I’ve been finding that I get extremely distracted and lost in my own head lately — specifically when I try to read books with no pictures. Bleh. That’s why I find myself reading graphic novels and comic books more frequently now. Anyhow, I’m hoping to regularly post more book reviews so please bear with me if they happen to sputter randomly.
What books have you been reading — graphic novel or not? Let me know in the comments!