What Is Home, Mum?: A Memoir

Street Noise. May 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781951491178. pap. $19.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Mixing lyrical, even meditative prose, with deeply personal and intimate questions of self and family, Khan offers readers a powerful reflection on her life as a child, daughter, family member, lover, professional, and member of the Kashmiri diaspora in London. She intertwines her personal experience with her community experience into a larger historical story to probe with delicacy and yet sharp-sighted power at questions of identity, history, belonging, and place. Beautifully reflecting her emotions, thoughts, and life in art, she creates detailed, metaphorical, and layered imagery that fractures, wraps, folds, and flows into and out of itself. The hand-lettered text is dense and yet spills across and down the pages, each variously designed so that the result is a cacophony that reflects mood and event with stunning force. At times hypnotic, at times heartbreaking, at times enraging, and at all times illuminating and multifaceted, the work invites and rewards close, and repeated, reading.
VERDICT An essential purchase for all collections. Add it to the top of your book club suggestion list, and offer it to readers of literary fiction exploring similar themes of identity and belonging.
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