Shubnum Khan is a South African author and artist. Her first novel, Onion Tears (2011) was shortlisted for the Penguin Prize for African Writing and the University of Johannesburg Debut Fiction Prize. Her collection of misadventures, How I Accidentally Became a Global Stock Photo and Other Strange and Wonderful Stories was published in South Africa and India with Macmillan in 2021.
Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, HuffPost, O the Oprah Magazine, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, New Contrast, and Saraba Magazine. She has published short stories in South African anthologies Instant Exposure (2018), Hair (2019) and Our Ghosts Were Once People (2021).
She has a degree in Media Studies and a Master's in English from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is a writing fellow at OMI’s Ledig House in New York, the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai and an Octavia Butler Fellow at Jack Jones Literary Arts. She was shortlisted for the Miles Moreland Writing Scholarship for African Writers and selected as a Mellon Fellow at Stellenbosch University in 2019.
She is currently completing her second novel; a gothic mystery and a collection of micro memoirs about love. She takes private art commissions and freelances as a writer. She lives in Durban, where the warmest waters meet the bluest skies.