I expected the conversation to turn towards the symbolism and significance of comic book imagery employed by the author in the novel, and so it did. The ways in which Sam is sustained by the strength of his comic book connections, Maharaj explained, parallels the strength he sees in the power of the human imagination, the individual creative spirit, to surmount even the bleakest of hardships. Instinctively creative souls already possess the best keys for survival, for braving a world populated by so many exiles, castaways, drifters all.
There are stories available to you other than those steeped in inevitable assimilation, vocal muzzling and despair, Maharaj’s book says clearly to the immigrants of 2012 (and beyond). Imaginary homelands can fortify; they can build a bridge, a tangible interface between dreams and reality. They are proof that no modern migration experience need ever be conducted in the dark.
Photo by Shivanee Ramlochan.