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Sambasivan & Parikh | Yali Books

Amla Mater

Amla Mater

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Words & Art By: Devi Menon 

In the stillness of autumn, I feel I can almost hear someone hum ‘Lokame tharavadu (the world is my home)’.

In her tiny flat in East London, as Mili waits for her baby to arrive, little things remind her of her life in India­­—the scent of jasmine flowers, a heavy downpour, a late-night cup of coffee, an amla or gooseberry—and she is overcome with a deep desire to recreate the flavors of her childhood. Can a jar of amla pickle help her travel back to that haven she once called home?

In this nostalgic graphic novel, the narrator recounts her meandering journey emigrating from her ancestral village in South India to the United Kingdom, capturing the deep feeling of longing that shapes the lives of diasporic communities everywhere.


Virginia Library Association's Graphic Novel Diversity Award—Honor Book (2018) 

“Amla Mater is a meditation on memory... Menon’s art is simple but graceful and carries an air of intimacy...”—Foreword Reviews

"Eloquently comparing cultures by reminding us of our commonality of experience, and examining our conceptions of home with a gentle grace, Amla Mater is a graphic novel of great warmth and subtle passion." —Broken Frontier


Graphic Novels, Contemporary Fiction, Coming of Age, Immigration and Emigration, Women's Studies, Pregnancy

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Book Details

Reading Level Recommendations

Grades: 9-12

Ages: 14-18

Subject Categories & Themes

YAF010070-YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Coming of Age
YAF058100-YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration
YAF010180 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Diversity & Multicultural

Formats & Publication Date

Paperback: 9780989061599

eBook: 9780989061575

PDF: 9781949528534

Publication Date:

Author Devi Menon

Meet the Author

Devi has been featured in The Inking Woman: 250 Years of Women Cartoon and Comic Artists in Britain (Myriad Editions 2018), a groundbreaking picture-led celebration of the work of over 100 British artists.

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