Excerpts from Shafinaaz Hassim’s "Nisa Qamar and the Master of Jinniaville" Print
Monday, 14 November 2016 15:05

Shafinaaz Hassim has kindly shared a few excerpts from her latest novel, Nisa Qamar and the Master of Jinniaville. Nisa Qamar and the Master of Jinniaville was launched yesterday at the ARTiculate Africa Book Fair as part of the Essence Festival held in Durban. The book will form part of a series that is published by WordFlute Press Publications.


Image Source: Supplied


Extract 1:

December is my favourite time of the year. The sun sways in the bright blue sky like a happy sunflower. And the summer holidays stretch for a full five weeks. This means that we can sleep past 9 o'clock, we don't have to wear school uniforms, and ice cream. There's always ice cream.

Aunty Rahma from next door makes the best flavours of ice cream. She calls me Neetha, because she can't say Nisa. I don't mind . She’s always nice to me. (1)


Extract 2:

The Christmas weekend is usually quiet here in Johannesburg. Most of our neighbours go off to the coast or fly to somewhere special for their holiday. The Maliks went to Istanbul last year; they brought pictures of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque to school. I think they're going to Spain this year. The Harris family are in Malaysia. And Aunty Rahma is away at her sister's place in Middleburg.

Ever since Mum and Daddy got divorced two years ago, we haven't been on a proper holiday. But that's okay. I know that Mum is doing everything she can to keep things together. Mum works as a receptionist for Dr Ahmed, the dentist. My younger sister Aisha and Igo to the Iqra Academy of Excellence, one of the best schools in Jozi. Expensive, I'm sure. (2)


Extract 3:

It is terribly windy this week. My lips feel dry and they burn when I eat anything spicy. Mum reminds me to apply a layer of Zambuk, but I forget. I wake in the middle of the night and the bathroom window has snapped open. It's rattling against the frame. I don't bother to put any lights on; the moon is shining so bright. I plod across the passage barefooted to the toilet and try to close the window, but it is too wide open for my hands to reach it. The wind blows it shut with a big thud. I grab it and turn the handle to fasten it.

A chill runs through my body. (53)