Coming this August via Knockabout Comics, those fine purveyors of underground and alt style comics, is a graphic memoir we’ve been looking forward to for some time here at Broken Frontier. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the progress of Sayra Begum’s Mongrel on social media then you’ll know just how eagerly anticipated this book is. The press release and sample pages run below but do scroll down to the bottom for a link to Sayra’s site where you can read a full chapter of the book! Look for a review soon here at BF.
A new graphic novel from Knockabout
Towards the end of 2017 Sayra Begum sent Knockabout a sample of her autobiographical graphic novel, Mongrel. This work was the best unsolicited manuscript they have seen for a very long time. It is rare for a new talent to produce such an ambitious long work.
Sayra is both an accomplished and clever storyteller and an original artist in her layouts and drawing style. The story itself covers matters that are at the heart of our society’s current concerns; immigration, racism, mixed heritage relationships and inter-generational strife.
“Told both by the hand and by the heart, Mongrel invites us behind closed doors and deep into the emotional and spiritual tumult dividing her family. In her exquisite, pertinent debut, Sayra Begum shares her singular, first person intimacies to enable us all to experience and empathise with the world through a thoroughly modern Muslim’s eyes.”
-Paul Gravett, Author of Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life, 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die and Comics Art
The front door of Shuna’s family home acted as a gateway to Bangladesh. Nothing haram passed through this door, this was a devout house. When Shuna walked through this door, she switched her rebellious face to her pious face, which eagerly absorbed the teaching of the Prophet, striving to be a good Muslim girl. The switching between these two faces became increasingly difficult as they grew further and further apart.
‘Yes, yes, yes I’ll marry you’ I said to David. Although, after the celestial shock wore off and dull reality set in, I realised there was a slight problem. I would have to tell my very traditional parents that I was going to marry a non-Muslim and confess my secret life.
It’s my wedding day. My parents are absent. I’m not surprised. Why would my parents want to celebrate their daughter’s eternal damnation in hell fire?
20th August 2020
264 pages, 21cm x 18cm