Hana Khan Carries On
Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she'll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.
When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana's growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant — who might not be a complete stranger after all.
As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be. (From HarperCollins Canada)
Uzma Jalaluddin is a teacher, parenting columnist and author based in Ontario. She is also the author of the novel Ayesha At Last.
- 13 books for the romantic comedy lover on your holiday shopping list
- The best Canadian fiction of 2021
- Uzma Jalaluddin's Hana Khan Carries On to be adapted into film by Mindy Kaling and Amazon Studios
- Uzma Jalaluddin's novel Ayesha At Last subverts Muslim stereotypes in its look at romantic love
- 58 Canadian works of fiction coming out in spring 2021
- The CBC Books spring 2021 reading list
- Uzma Jalaluddin's novel Hana Khan Carries On is a modern day meet-cute inspired by a love of rom-coms
- 12 Canadian books about love and romance to read in summer 2021
- CBC Books 2021 holiday gift guide: Funny books for your holiday shopping list
"With stories that are set in regionalized or marginalized communities, I find that a lot of the tension comes, with justification, from parents who are demanding things for their children. And that is definitely a conflict that some children face.
With stories that are set in regionalized or marginalized communities, I find that a lot of the tension comes, with justification, from parents who are demanding things for their children.
"But then I think about a lot of people I know, who do come from those backgrounds, and their parents never really force the issue, but they still feel a responsibility towards giving back to the community and giving back to their family. I wonder about those kids who internalize that responsibility, even though their parents tell them to do what makes them happy and run after their dreams.
In Hana's case, she is so aware of all that her parents have sacrificed to get her to where she is right now —and she wants to help them."