Durban - A Johannesburg author hopes to start conversations not often discussed among the Muslim community through her debut fiction novel, Mirror Cracked, which will be launched at the South Africa in the Making exhibition at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
Raashida Khan, 49, of Emmarentia, said she hoped to bring to the fore issues considered taboo that were not being faced head-on in society, such as sexuality, gender relations and societal expectations.
Through her book, she also looks at illnesses, both physical and mental, death, coping with pain and grief against the backdrop of the daily and mundane acts of living and dealing with the feelings.
"The book weaves together intriguing characters in a truly South African setting while providing insights into the complexities of multi-layered identities and the norms that accompany communal expectation.
“Each chapter will have the reader on edge about the unfolding story of the complexity of love in its many forms. Many manifestations of love in the varied relationships of life and how love and pain can co-exist in a single heart become real as the story deepens.”
The book follows the lives of three protagonists, Azraa, Fareed and Zack and the predicament each of them find themselves in.
The characters are rich and real, with their distinctive personalities and styles jumping off the pages and coming to life.
You'll also read about the nuances and practices in a Muslim home, which include vivid descriptions of the food, social norms, religious practices and extended family.
“All that occurs is set against a backdrop of apartheid South Africa and the new-found lifestyles in a democratic dispensation, which is all combined to leave the reader with real insights into daily practices and rhythms.”
Khan, who worked as a project manager at three NGOs and at several marketing and advertising agencies, said she had always loved books and reading and made the decision to become a full-time writer 18 months ago.
She said her first novel took her two years to complete.
“There were many, many breaks in between, as I also wrote my poetry anthology, Happy Birthday, Raashi, a collection of short stories and the sequel to Mirror Cracked, Fragrance of Forgiveness, as well as my third novel, which is still untitled.
“I've always wanted to write and, after years of talking about it, I finally started. This is the story that came to me and the characters were compelling and strong, that they led the plot as much as I did.”
Khan added that she hoped, through the book, to shatter preconceptions and to leave readers feeling deeply moved and reflective.
* Mirror Cracked will be available on Amazon and at book stores.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
Three lucky readers can win a copy of Mirror Cracked by Raashida Khan. To win SMS tagword POSTNovel followed by your name and surname to 33258 (SMSes charged at R1.50). Competition ends 9am, September 18, 2018. Terms and conditions apply. Winners will be informed telephonically.