Here’s another Stealing Nasreen review, this one by Montreal Serai‘s Niranjana Iyer.
I was reflecting on how a number of reviewers have specifically noticed and commented on the scene between Shaffiq and the hospital administrator, a scene which highlights his simultaneous invisibility (as an accountant, underemployed as a janitor) and visibility (as a racialized person, a new immigrant).
I wrote that scene during the very last revision, perhaps a week before I handed in the manuscript to my publisher. She’s asked me to add a little more detail about Shaffiq at work, and his feelings about being underemployed. The scene came easily, perhaps because by then I truly knew the characters, had been swimming in the sea of their lives for many years already. I typed the words, decided the scene was done after it’s second drafting (usually I redraft and redraft) and was happy to be done with the book.
I’ve been reflecting on this because I am now at this stage with my second novel, (currently titled) A Six Meter Stretch of Pavement. It’s the 14th (or so) revision, and I’m looking for gaps and things to cut. I hope that my final pieces of writing will be among the best, the noteworthy, the scenes that remain in readers’ imaginations long after they’ve finished reading it.