Soman Chainani Creates Complex Fantasy Tales

Mon Oct 17, 2022

The author of the bestselling School for Good and Evil series wants to give young readers room to figure out right and wrong for themselves.

Growing up as a gay Indian kid on the posh island of Key Biscayne, Fla., outside of Miami, Soman Chainani sensed he didn’t fit in. He felt alien among his mostly white peers, and overlooked by the Disney films he watched until he knew every frame. “I remember not seeing myself in anything,” he says over video from his home in Manhattan. Unable to identify with beautiful princesses or lucky princes, he felt an uneasy affinity for the witches and scoundrels, who were often more crafty and complex: “I was always secretly rooting for the villains, because I felt more of a kinship with them.”

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