For readers of Brother by David Chariandy and Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, Adnan Khan’s blistering debut novel investigates themes of race, class, masculinity and contemporary relationships.
Omar Ali, twenty-seven-year-old line cook and petty criminal, gets a phone call from his ex-girlfriend’s father at work, informing Omar that Anna has committed suicide. Unable to process or articulate his grief, and suffering from insomnia, Omar embarks on a quest to obtain her suicide note from her elusive parents. As he unravels, Omar finds himself getting involved in break-ins, online terrorism, dealing with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and losing his best friend as he becomes less recognizable.
There Has to Be a Knife examines expectations – both intimate and political – on brown men, exploring ideas of cultural identity and the tropes we use to represent them.