Jukebox Time got a chance to interview Muhammad Hamza Shah in regard to his new book ” The Learner’s Plight.”
Q. Welcome to Jukebox Time! How are you doing?
A. I am great, looking forward to getting TLP out to the world.
Q. Your new book “The Learner’s Plight” is now available on Amazon. Please tell us about your wonderful book.
A. TLP is a young adult novella focusing on themes of emotional abuse and resident peer pressure through the eyes of Gavin, a young immigrant teen trying to find his footing in America. Gavin then realizes how he had lost perspective on what’s important in life and embarks on the less explored path of personal rediscovery. This turns out to be exactly what he needed and with the help of an unexpected acquaintance, Gavin starts to exert himself in this brave new world of continuous struggle.
Q. What motivated you to write this book?
A. This book had been in works since late 2018 but medical school eventually took over and it took a global pandemic to get me back to writing. With regards to the storyline, it was partly inspired by bullies I stumbled upon at an early age and the toll it took on my self-confidence. Sadly, there is a huge dearth of novels showcasing male protagonists exposing their vulnerability and that’s what got me writing in the first place. We need to normalize these feelings by challenging the narrative and curb its impact on male mental health earlier on.
Q. Who is your favorite author and why?
A. With contemporary fiction writers, I have been particularly drawn to Khalid Hosseini’s work. He has this uncanny ability to draw the reader in with honest, thought-provoking words. “The Kite Runner” sits above my study desk and I find myself appreciating Hosseini’s talent in procuring meaningful characters quite often.
Q. What’s next? Which book are you working on now?
A. At the moment, I am not too sure what the future holds for me. I have decided to pursue writing a full length novel and perhaps work on a poetry book as well. However, all this solely depends on the amount of time I can spare in the following year.
Q. Finally, as we ask all our guests on Jukebox Time, do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with the world and our readers?
A. If there is anything this pandemic has taught me, it’s the need for everybody in the world to bind together. Books are a wonderful way of finding common interests and discovering what truly gets us going. Words flow out of our mouths freely every single day but those written in a book are meticulously vetted to display the best and worst in us. To me, the art of “carefully choosing our words” makes books all the more interesting and somewhat of a portal into the mind of the author.
Last but not the least, I appreciate Jukebox Time for allowing me to convey my thoughts to your readers.
About the book: Gavin Hawthorne has recently emigrated from Ireland to the United States and is faced with an uphill battle to fight against blatant indifference. He undergoes rampant bullying at the hands of school’s athletic team and finds temporary solace in Linda, another student who has just arrived from Poland. However, this dependency doesn’t last for long as Gavin is plunged into the world of depression, stuck in a vicious cycle of self-hatred. In harrowing times like these, a close acquaintance becomes his much-needed ally and helps Gavin re-discover fondness for the gift of life.
About the author: With almost a decade worth of blogposts behind him, Muhammad Hamza Shah began tinkering with the idea of publishing literary works at the tender age of 9. Now a medical student, he continues to address mental health issues on his blog titled ‘Transfiguring Perceptions’. This resident theme has shown through with his debut novella ‘The Learner’s Plight’ and showcases Shah’s ability to target contemporary social predicaments efficiently.
The book is now available on Amazon!