Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Graphic Novel
Winner of the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Comics
Finalist for the 2021 Ferro-Grumley Literary Award for LGBTQ Fiction
The eight delightfully eerie stories in Apsara Engine are a subtle intervention into everyday reality: a woman drowns herself in a past affair, a tourist chases another guest into an unforeseen past, and a nonbinary academic researches postcolonial cartography. Imagining diverse futures and rewriting old mythologies, these comics delve into strange architectures, fetishism, and heartbreak.
Painted in rich sepia-toned watercolors, Apsara Engine is Bishakh Som's highly anticipated debut work of fiction. Showcasing a series of fraught, darkly humorous, and seemingly alien worlds — which ring all too familiar — Som captures the weight of 21st-century life as we hurl ourselves forward into the unknown.
“Som has created a collection of short stories that dance between genres and identities, moving from incisive descriptions of modern social realities to poetic ruminations on the future. This anthology by an up-and-coming comics superstar, which centers queer and trans South Asian narratives, is precisely what we need right now.” them.
"Provocative....Som is a master of pacing, letting the emotion of her scenes churn and roil in the reader; her debut heralds the rise of new talent to watch." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"In ways that should be obvious by now, queer people, trans people, need lives that look and feel unlike the lives we grew up knowing: we need lives whose geographies, whose economies, permit us to become ourselves....Apsara Engine begins to envision them." The Georgia Review
About the Author
Bishakh Som is an artist, illustrator, and writer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, BuzzFeed, The Boston Review, and The Brooklyn Rail, among others. Her books include Apsara Engine, Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir, and The Prefab Bathroom: An Architectural History, and she was also a contributor to We're Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology. Som is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.