Saira's latest work, CRACK APPLE and POP, is a social satire/crime novel focusing on the culture of greed with a gripping plot at its heart. It tells the story of a young black British boxer whose hopes of a career in boxing are ruined by injury and who is forced into a life of crime. Around that story is a complex web of satirical subplots and characters that take apart contemporary values and society.
The following excerpt from CRACK APPLE and POP comes from the beginning of the novel, where we see the protagonist take to the ring in his debut boxing match in London; the consequences of this match would change his live forever.
T's professional debut was held at the legendary York Hall; Bethnal Green the "spiritual home" of London's boxing elite. All of the world–class fighters had graced its hallowed ring and jacked its golden ropes with meat and muscle. T was on the undercard playing handmaid to the pros and the undefeated Cuban Alexi De Morra.
It was a ripe spanking night the wind slapping the skin of the trees and hurling the leaves from top to bottom in a spin rush shading the Autumn sky with thick brush strokes of colour, a post impressionist hue of twilight beauty.
Tony stared with wide–eyed wonder at the commanding edifice and extensive red frontage of the plinths and cornices made from Portland stone. It was a voracious testament of prizefighting history. From Charlie Magrit to Terry Spinks and beyond, they all had a similar story, starting out as amateurs from local boxing clubs to claim their place on the world stage.
T's supporters were out in full, a chopping symphony of friends, family, fellow fighters and street kids all hoping to goose his punch. York Hall was battered with press and product sponsors ready to net some fresh talent. The major event that night a headline fight between Alexi De Mora and Russian explosion Sergi Olov. The air was fever-pitch high spitting excitement and bubbling with testosterone. Would this be victory for T? Would he secure his professional ranking in the mighty York hall? All eyes were on him and his rival, twenty-five year-old Joss Bullie, known for his deadly right hook and big hitting style. As T stepped up to the ring in his flash spot trunks he was all sparkle and shine . He boogied down the aisle to the hardcore rap of Slim Thugs like a boss. Joss strutted forward listening to Ozzy Osborne's "Paranoia." Together they weighed more than five hundred pounds. It was gonna be a pow wow night full of spit and slit.