cover image Feelings: A Story in Seasons

Feelings: A Story in Seasons

Manjit Thapp. Random House, $21.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-593-12975-3

In simple prose declarations and radiant colored pencil-and-marker illustrations, Thapp tracks her narrator’s creative process and mental health through the lens of a six-season South Asian calendar. During high summer, the young artist at the center of this short, reflective work is invited to present a solo show at a gallery. But as the season of “endless possibility” gives way to the chaotic monsoon and the colder, drearier seasons, self-doubt and social isolation creep in. Though Thapp’s subject matter and visual metaphors (namely plants) aren’t uncommon, the notion that artistic and personal satisfaction might be cyclical rather than solvable via willpower, religion, or life choices, feels subtly radical. Thapp’s narrator doesn’t transform due to any particular epiphany. She feels better because it’s spring and “I slowly start adding color back into my days.” Thapp is sparse with text, letting her artistic elements— appealing compositions, pleasing patterns and symmetry, lush seasonal color palettes—shine instead. The result gorgeously depicts the delicate dance between the internal and natural worlds, and offers soothing space for anxious readers to reflect on their own mood cycles. [em]Agent: Monico Odom, Odom Media Management. (Mar.) [/em]