The Silent Minaret

Ishtiyaq Shukri's first novel poses questions about what happens to belief when personal ideals are betrayed by world events.

EU Literary Award Winner 2004

"Fluid interplay of history, text and memory." – Chris Dunton, Sunday Independent

London, the summer of 2003. Issa Shamsuddin, a South African Muslim student living in Finsbury Park, vanishes without a trace.

Did Issa decide to disappear, or was he 'disappeared'? Why? Issa's friend Katinka, his adopted brother Kagiso, mother Dr Vasinthe Kumar and London neighbour Frances reconstruct their memories of the missing man, looking for clues in the past that might explain the riddle of the present. Could the answer about Issa's whereabouts lie in the events that took place in the Western Cape before South Africa's democratic elections as a political activist or in the culmination of his increased alienation and radicalisation whilst researching Islam in London in the last two years? Issa's refrain, after all, was: "The past is always with us".

What emerges, as the fragments surface, is a man insisting on a common humanity, finding ways to link belief systems and ideologies even as he witnesses a world being divided into two. Issa's sense of unity appears to pull together the African and the Arab world, the homeless refugees, the disappeared street people, the invisibles, 'Europe's untouchables' and the elderly who must endure 'portable altars, portable surgeries, portable meals'.

So where can Issa Shamsuddin be?

About the Author
Ishtiyaq Shukri
was born in Johannesburg in 1968. He studied English and African literature at the Universities of the Western Cape and Witwatersrand. He has edited the SOAS Literary Review and has written for Chimurenga, ITCH and Entheos. He has lived in Egypt and India. He is currently studying South Asian and Middle Eastern literature in London.

Parameters of Book: Book
Author: Ishtiyaq Shukri
ISBN: 9781770092495
d-PDF ISBN: 9781431406371
ePUB ISBN: 9781431406388
mobi file ISBN: 9781431406395
Size (mm): 235x155mm
Pages: 248pp
format: Paperback
Colour: Black & White
Rights: World
Language: English
Publication Date: 2005-01-01