Work by Molly Murakami
Work by Molly Murakami

Molly Murakami ’20, MFA, was interviewed about her graphic novel thesis project for a feature in the summer issue of the St. Olaf Magazine.

In the interview, Murakami talks about what lead her to create In Your Path, a graphic novel that includes stories of her grandfather’s experience as a prisoner in a U.S. internment camp for American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII. The book contains four chapters written as a series of letters to her grandfather. “It’s hard putting a lot of yourself on the wall or a lot of yourself in a book and giving it to someone,” she says. “I think it’s hard to let people into that very personal space. People can disagree or criticize. And it’s all about you.”

While she was hard at work on her thesis, Murakami landed her dream freelance gig: illustrating three books for middle grade readers for the children’s book publisher Candlewick Press. “In the future, my hope is I can either write my own stories or use my skill sets to illustrate stories that I’m equally passionate about,” she says. “This [the Candlewick Press project] is definitely in line with what I want to do. The authors themselves are Black and Native women, and the stories that we are writing and illustrating center around those narratives. I’m incredibly excited to do this work.”

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