lights in dark places


Dressed in a black jumper and black trousers, a grinning Tanvir Bush is seen mid-air, head thrown back, arms flung out, right arm stretched above her head, left arm stretched out to the side, with her knees bent and feet kicked up behind her. In the background is the brown-tiled roof of a house with the tops of two green trees. The head of a laughing woman enjoying the spectacle is visible in front of the house.

Cull is the latest novel by Tanvir Bush

Alex has a problem. Categorized as one of the disabled, dole-scrounging underclass, she is finding it hard to make ends meet. Now, in her part time placement at the local newspaper, she’s stumbled onto a troubling link between the disappearance of several homeless people, the new government Care and Protect Bill and the sinister extension of the Grassybanks residential home for the disabled, elderly and vulnerable. Can she afford the potential risk to herself and her wonderful guide dog Chris of further investigation?

‘Laugh and weep! With wit, flair and imagination, Tanvir Bush unfolds the secret life of a nation on benefits. Our nation….’ Fay Weldon

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Maggie Gee has written of this novel: ‘Where is the satirist we need now, with the welfare state in chaos and politics a TV reality show? She is the fabulous, funny, sharp, outrageous Tanvir Bush, and Britain must read her. With a dauntless but sympathetic heroine, one of the best dog characters in literature and a disabled escort service called the Ladies’ Defective Agency, this witty and all too believable novel is a 2017 inheritor of the satirical genius of Lindsay Anderson’s Britannia Hospital and Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange.’

Tanvir Bush will publish Cull via Unbound, an award-winning crowdfunding publisher that brings ideas to life. All supporters get their name printed in every edition of the book. Higher levels of support earn even more exciting rewards, including signed 1st edition hardbacks, cover artwork prints, opportunities to meet the author, and many more…

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Witch Girl

Witch Girl, Tanvir Bush’s first novel, is set in modern Lusaka, Zambia, where the line between magic and religion is blurred, the arcane and the mundane muddle and nothing is what it seems. Luse is a sharp street child combing the gang-ridden city in a desperate search for Doctor Georgia Shapiro who she hopes can offer her a way back into her once-bright past. The doctor is trying to unravel the mystery of a friend’s sudden death while attending to the AIDS crisis laying waste to the country around her. Meanwhile The Blood Of Christ Church and its enigmatic leader Priestess Selena Clark gain popularity with their murky promises of salvation and violent clandestine rituals. A small silver box links them in ways they cannot foretell. It will force Luse and Georgia to question who they trust, who they are and for whom they fight. Tanvi Bush’s Witch girl is a crime thriller that juggles the past and the present effortlessly, blending AIDS activism, witchcraft, religious extremism and romance to create a well-paced narrative. Luse is so feisty, charming and resourceful that you’ll miss her after you finish the book.

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The cover of the book 'Witch Girl' by Tanvir Bush shows her pseudonym Tanvi Bush. The colours are violet and grey, with a black humanoid figure in pointillist dots apparently flying over a barbed wire fence against a patchy violet sky.

On The Frontline produced by Tanvir Bush
Director and cinematographer: Kasper Bisgaard
Production assistants: Dr Mike Bush, Francis Kabambo
Willie Mwale Film Foundations (2004)

Although not about Witch Girl directly, this film showcases an important aspect of the book’s context.

Amazon reviewer Carol gave Witch Girl five stars, saying “I know nothing about Zambia but I now feel I have been there. What a wonderful novel. The characters are so believable and mostly likeable, the “baddies” are very unlikeable but at the same time there is some sympathy shown for them and their mis-guided lives. The story is a cracking one and the lead character, Luse, is such a wonderful strong girl hero. I really could not put this down and regret that I have finished it. Adventure, romance, political awareness, cultural diversity, it is all there. Buy it, read it and then buy more copies to give as presents to everyone you know.”

Polly Loxton agrees: “Witch Girl! Eyes pricking and heart pounding, I have just finished and put it down. This short, tightly written story is utterly gripping. The author grew up in Zambia and the sharp, visual quality is testimony to her time as a documentary film maker there. The story arises from those experiences. Read it. Give it to your friends. It is the most original book I have read in many years.”

Amazing Book Gripping Sad and Thrilling
Amazon: 5 out of 5 stars by Amazon Customer on June 22, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

This book drew me in from the first page and kept me on the edge of my seat. It painted a rich picture of the lives of of Luce and her brother in Zambia from their lives in the suburbs to poverty and the harsh reality of the street. It takes the reader on an amazing ride touching on religious fanaticism, child smuggling and even magic. The plight of these children made me want to reach through the pages and comfort them. Although fiction and not a memoir it reminded me of Angela’s Ashes and has to be one of the best books I’ve read in years.
“A unique novel brilliantly told”JMB

A unique novel brilliantly told
Amazon: 5 out of 5 stars by JMB on 14 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Tanvi weaves together a story based on the lives of a young girl and her brother that takes the reader onto the streets of Lusaka. She reveals how religion, witchcraft, the repercussions of HIV/Aids in a family, even institutionalised murder all combine to impact on both the young indigenous population and the work of visiting health workers.

Based on her own experiences and work as a documentary film maker, it is rich in the characters she creates and the landscape she describes. Tanvi’s novel brings a deeper knowledge and understanding of what may lie behind such disturbing images. Although not always easy to read, it is however a compelling portrayal that will stay with you.