SCRF 2023: Indian author urges young people to ‘smash superstitions’ by reading more
Teacher-turned-writer Khyrunnisa enthrals packed audience of school students with excerpts from her much-loved Butterfingers series
Sharjah, May 12, 2023
Prolific Indian author of children’s fiction Khyrunnisa enthralled a packed audience of students from different schools at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) with excerpts from her much-loved 2010 debut novel Howzzat Butterfingers! in hopes of “inspiring them to read more”.
“The more we have advanced, the more we have regressed with so many of us still harbouring misconceptions in the subcontinent about walking under ladders, black cats crossing our paths, Friday the 13th. I have tried to dispel those notions through my stories because I want people to be more rational, more reasonable. And that will only happen when they read more and broaden their horizon,” said the teacher-turned-author explaining why she most enjoyed writing Smash It, Butterfingers! – the seventh and the latest instalment in her Butterfinger series.
“There’s no doubt that the young people still enjoy reading good stories, especially when they are told in a manner that appeals to them,” said the former associate professor of English literature at Thiruvananthapuram’s All Saints College who is now looking forward to her latest work World of Butterfingers – a comic rendition of her most famouscharacter basedon schoolboy Amar Kishen, nicknamed Butterfingers, for his ability to send books, balls, bats, people and “almost anything flying”.
“The series is about fun stories from school. They are vastly enjoyable because of how everybody can relate to them,” said the fan of English writers PG Wodehouse and Jerome K. Jerome who loves to infuse humour in her everyday writing. “Humour writers have always influenced me. Growing up I enjoyed school stories. I love sports too and although I never played one myself, I still read a newspaper back to front starting with sports pages. So you end up writing about whatever you enjoy the most,” she said.
‘Butterfingers’ first appeared in the Indian children’s magazine Tinkle. Thirteen-year-old Amar Kishen, aka Butterfingers, now features in the eponymous Butterfingers series of novels and short story collections published by Puffin, the children’s imprint of Penguin Random House India.