We’re excited to reveal an exclusive excerpt from graphic novel Enlightened by Sachi Ediriweera! The book was edited by Alyza Liu, designed by Greg Stadnyk, and will be released on September 26, 2023 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Preorder it here.
A spirited young prince longing to learn more about the world grows into a man on a quest to find the cause of human suffering in this first-of-its-kind graphic novel retelling of the life of Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism.
Prince Siddhartha lives in a beautiful palace in the heart of Kapilavastu. His father, the king, ensures that he has the best of everything—he just can’t go outside. He is locked up away from the city, away from anything that might cause him pain. He knows nothing of illness, aging, sorrow, or death, yet Siddhartha feels the pain regardless, and it instills a burning curiosity to understand the world outside—and the nature of human suffering.
Based on the life of the real man who was known first as a prince, then as a monk, and now as the Gautama Buddha, Enlightened is about one boy’s quest to learn the truth that underpins our endless struggle against suffering—and in understanding, break the cyclic existence that perpetuates it.
A word from the author:
With millions of followers around the world, the Buddha’s teachings are no doubt an integral part of human history. The teachings which originated approximately 2500 years ago in the regions of modern day India and Nepal have become the foundation of many cultures around the world and the way of life for many today. Creating Enlightened was a natural extension of my relationship to Buddhism. It was an apt way to strip down the mythos and to examine what made his character interesting to me. I began working on the book at the height of the pandemic and after almost two and a half years of work, I’m excited to share it with the world. — Sachi Ediriweera
Sachi Ediriweera (he/him/his) is an accomplished designer, filmmaker, and comic book artist. He is the writer and artist of the graphic novels Lionborn, which was the first English language graphic novel produced in Sri Lanka, and Enlightened. Apart from his design and illustration work, he has also built a career in filmmaking as a writer, producer, and director of acclaimed short films that have screened in numerous film festivals around the world. When he’s not drawing or writing his third-act plot twist, Sachi enjoys reading art books and comics, eating pizza, and overthinking cosplay ideas for comic cons. He divides his time between Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Dubai.