Book Launch: Onion Tears by Shubnum Khan
Brilliant debut Novel, Onion Tears by Shubnum Khan was launched at Exclusive books, Gateway on 6 May 2011. The book sees alot of interest piqued from the muslim community, who attended the launch. Khan is accompanied by her mentors who do much justice to presenting Khan’s talent as well as her book to an eager crowd.
Kobus Moolmen asks ‘Why do we reach out? What do we reach out for?’ which highlights one of the base elements, of searching for ones identity, that is embedded in the book. ‘Desire is an engine’ says Moolmen as he speaks of a novels desire to be tangible. Moolmen addresses those who have walked the road with Khan, being caught in the current of her inspiration and those who have stood beside her. It is very touching, with a personal tone as Moolmen has chosen to read a letter where he addresses Khan, her journey and her talent a writer.
Again Khans journey of talent from student years and into a published novelist is mapped out by Lecturer, Zoey Molver, who chooses the teacher approach. Highlighting the multi-talented Khan’s forward thinking, media tenacity and aspirations as a cartoonist gets many surprised smiles from the audience.
Khan shares a peek into the struggle with having a voice, and her way to cultivate it that began with a private personal blog. Yet, contrary to this sneak peek, Khan strings together a brilliant presentation of Onion Tears, drawing the audiences in to the multi-layered novel. As the launch nears a close we discover that the Protagonist ventures to India late in the novel which highlights many amusing antics and struggles, with language, cultural identity, personal identity as well as the embedded theme of journey. There are aspects of Indian patriotism, Muslim identity, culture, wealth and stereotypes that surface as Onion Tears examines culture. Excerpts from the novel are very catchy, afew stand out proudly.
‘People were all the same, they all bled red’
‘The differences mattered’
“Do you want to be a ripe mango, or a raw onion?”
‘There are many trains of life – not one’
Onion Tears showcases many elements that we as South African Indian-Muslims struggle with, finding that balance, the cultural dynamics, the questionability of society and many more. Khan manages to weave together a very catchy story that’s guaranteed a good deal of laughter, generous smiles and appreciative nods. Given our experiences of culture and societal interaction, one is bound to find some of the characters to be close to home – in the metaphoric sense of course. As if to say, keep an eye out for the lady next door, you might find her in the novel. All in all an excellent read.
It is wonderful to see talented a muslimah progress in her talent.
The Muslimah(Life)Style Team would like to wish Shubnum Khan a hearty congrats. Well done!