At first, Bishakh Som’s Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir is the story of a leap of faith: Som quits her job as an architect to work full time on a graphic novel.
The book then relays her life story as she grows up in New York City, the child of immigrants from India, and moves through her years as an alienated college student and later, a comics artist who has to figure out how to make art and pay the bills.
But the book is also a memoir of identity by a trans artist, with episodes from Som’s life reimagined as lived out by her cisgender quasi-avatar Anjali.
In this 10-page excerpt we meet Som/Anjali just as she’s about to quit her job. Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir by Bishakh Som will be published by Street Noise Books in August.
This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly.