Genre: Contemporary, Graphic Novel, YA
Publication date: October 3rd, 2017
by First Second
Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.
For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.
In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.
-A copy was provided by First Second for review-
I’ve been waiting for Pashmina since I first heard it existed so when my friend got a copy, I dove into hers while I was visiting and also ended up coming home to a precious copy of my own (#SHOUTOUT.) I’ve already read it twice and there is a very huge possibility I’ll have read it a third time before the end of the year (and even the end of the month, tbh.) SO. I THINK it’s safe to say that I love Pashmina.
It’s already being marketed as such but I also just think Pashmina is perfect for fans of American Born Chinese. The books share so many wonderful qualities and parallels but Pashmina is still its own story and so so SO heartfelt at that. I mean, it even has Gene Luen Yang’s stamp of approval.
Pashmina follows the story of Priyanka Das as she learns more about the place her mother immigrated from. Priyanka’s mom has cut off all contact with her family in India and doesn’t ever talk about the circumstances that her brought her to the United States. When she discovers a hidden pashmina in a suitcase, she discovers an India she has never gotten to know.
Through Priyanka’s story, Chanani explores the complex relationships between immigrant parents and their children. It is an ode to the diaspora experienced when you are dislocated from the ‘motherland’ but ultimately, its an exploration of how cultures transcend artificial boundaries.
The panels in this graphic novel are also stunning. While I don’t have the right vocabulary to really describe the art-work, it is beautifully done and I love the carefully planned use of colors to accentuate certain scenes throughout the novel. The artwork really brings Priyanka’s journey to life in a way words really couldn’t.
If this book wasn’t on your radar, I really hope you will choose to add it to your enormous tbr’s because this graphic novel is so wonderful, and so heartfelt and I just have a lot of emotions. I am so grateful to Nidhi Chanani for gracing us with this wonderful piece of literature and I cannot wait to talk even more about it to ANYONE WHO WILL FUCKING LISTEN.