Tanvir Bush’s novel, CULL is personal, political, & passionate

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Book Launch, Book Publishing, Books by Ruth Hartley, Politics, Reading, Video4 Comments

Tanvir Bush’s novel, CULL is launched

Tanvir Bush speaks to the audience from a podium. She is wearing a dark outfit with gold and turquoise embroidery. Her long hair has a turquoise streak

Tanvir Bush

What a launch it was too! There were 100 people in the Town Hall for the event. The Corsham Bookshop laid on the wine and snacks and managed the book sales. The event was filmed and will shortly be on YouTube. There were reading and performances and  guests, Miro Griffiths and Esther Fox, colleagues of Tanvir and disability activists whose virtual appearance was made possible by the use of tele-presence robots. It was a book launch unlike any other I’ve seen.

CULL is published by Unbound thanks to Tanvir’s agent at Curtis Brown, Karolina Sutton.


Grace, Tanvir’s first, now retired, guide dog was there

A small black guide dog made of sugar icing

Grace, the sugar guide dog from the top of the cake

Grace, the sugar icing guide dog with her harness on

One of the novel’s heroes is a guide dog called Chris. Alex, the book’s main protagonist, like Tanvir, the author, is registered blind and Chris, Alex’s guide dog is essential to the plot. Obviously Grace is the model for Chris and she made  a very excited entry onto the stage at the launch to deserved recognition from her blind human, Tanvir Bush.

Why are there unnecessary deaths of disabled people?

An overturned wheelchair rests at the bottom of a flight of stairs surrounded by floral tributes

In CULL attacks on disabled people and suicides of disabled people become common.

A newspaper poster offers a reward for information about benefit cheats specifically showing a wheelchair user

IN CULL local papers offer rewards if the public shop so-called scroungers – note the wheelchair!

6 newspaper front pages claim that the majority of benefit claimants are scroungers or skivers

The front pages of newspapers describing benefit users as scroungers. These are not from CULL but current today.

As Tanvir said her book was completed some time ago but it looks as if her hard-hitting satire about the organised culling of disabled, homeless, old and ill people is becoming more salient every day. It was advertised by the up-ended wheelchair and floral tributes in the Town Hall lobby.  We had a minutes silence for those disabled people who have died or committed suicide and whose names were marked on black flags at the launch.


The good Dr Binding

The Nazi doctor responsible for the extermination of disabled children

Tanvir carried out considerable research for her story. One character, the good Dr Binding, is based on the fact that a few doctors who are seemingly kind and caring may also be capable of murder. Tanvir studied Hitler’s personal physician, Dr Brandt, who experimented on the best ways to kill people with learning disabilities.

The most important thing is to tell a good story

The cake – CULL, the book with Grace, the sugar guide dog

CULL, the book on display in the Corsham Bookshop

The blue-framed window of Corsham Bookshop with a book display

The Corsham Bookshop in Corsham High Street






So the novel is a political satire and personal for Tanvir but at the launch she made it clear that writing a great story is what counts for her. She read excerpts from her book while it was performed by Trisha Lee and Bill Moody of Make-believe Arts and that really enthused the audience who went on to enjoy wine, cake, and buy signed copies of CULL! It was a enjoyable and exhilarating evening which finally ended in the convenient pub next door.

In the newspapers

The Flemish Weaver – the pub next door to the Town Hall

Corsham Town Hall

Tanvir Bush and Ruth Hartley are on either side of Miro Griffiths who is part of the evening in real time on an Ipad attached to a free-moving robot

Tanvir, Miro Griffiths on the tele-presence robot, and Ruth pose for the camera

There is a write up of the launch in the Gazette and Herald which to my surprise has a photo of me with Tanvir! One of my best moments was talking to Tanvir’s mentor, Miro Griffiths MBE. Miro was on his tele-presence robot which meant we also danced and twirled!

I am so very proud of my daughter, Tanvir Bush.




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