Anatolia and Other Stories
Release Date: October 1, 2009
eBook Price: $7.99
In these eleven stories of novelistic breadth and ambition, global tensions and harmonies come alive as rarely seen in contemporary fiction. Shivani takes the measure of the fallout from globalization as well as its advantages, exploring diverse cultures to gauge their ultimate resiliencies.
An undocumented Indian worker in Dubai, an Issei man in a California internment camp, a persecuted Baha’i novelist in contemporary Tehran, a Chinese-American conservator at a Boston museum, a Hungarian gypsy girl in 1950s rural Indiana, a dissatisfied Muslim industrialist in post-independence India, and a loyal-to-the-core Jewish trader in the Ottoman empire—these are the kinds of strong, sympathetic, fully realized characters who bridge place and individuality in this powerful collection.
The genre of multicultural/postcolonial short fiction will never be the same again. These stories push us to confront the hardest intellectual challenges of the emerging world, while never letting go of narrative urgency, concision, and lyrical power.
"Anis Shivani demonstrates his versatility as a writer as he takes us around the globe in stories that juxtapose old and new, east and west, with characters that do their best to navigate the generational/religious/cultural/socio-economic tensions inherent in our global economy. Shivani’s observations are dead-on, especially when dealing with themes of loss, family dynamics, and the subtleties of power. This is a solid collection that offers the best of all worlds: skilled writing flavored with detailed cultural nuances in stories that are timeless and universal." —Laila Halaby, PEN/Beyond Margins Award-winning author of Once in a Promised Land
"Anis Shivani has an enviable narrative reach. He populates worlds that are psychologically compelling, socially acute, and morally challenging. Reading Anatolia and Other Stories, we feel that life has been lived deeply and then—the hard part—served up fresh to the senses." —Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies and My Sky Blue Trades
"I've read these stories with intense interest. Anis Shivani is an original, and his work interrogates the historical moment with insight and passion. He looks at this mysterious thing called ‘multiculturalism’ with a fresh eye, never accepting the status quo, always probing and thinking. The forces that keep a lid on emerging thought, on sharp political thinking, had better take cover. This is unusual and interesting work." —Jay Parini, author of Benjamin’s Crossing and The Apprentice Lover
"Anis Shivani's debut collection of stories reveals him to be one of the most exciting young writers in the States. What I especially admire in his work is the seamless union of his extraordinary intelligence with his intensely empathetic feelings for his characters and for the endlessly mysterious experience of existence itself." —Richard Burgin, author of The Identity Club
"Caustically funny, broadly knowledgeable, and sharply attuned to the tectonic shifting between tradition and change and the friction between immigrants and natives, generations, and genders, Shivani touches on injustices intimate and planetary in extraordinary stories of weight and luminosity." —Booklist
"His is a controlled, quiet voice…The range of subjects on display in Anatolia reclaims the word cosmopolitan from the clutches of fashion, restoring it to what I take to be its true meaning — a mature mind (and imagination) that looks outward to embrace the globe." —New Letters
"So it is a relief to plunge into the richly textured world of Anis Shivani, a world that is complex and multicultural…Shivani displays an astonishingly broad and deep knowledge of cultures…And not only does he write about globalization with authority, verve, and intelligence, but with originality, too." —American Book Review
"Anatolia and Other Stories allowed me to revisit the experience of existing "in between" countries and cultures. The book reminded me it is possible to belong to more than one cultural tradition." —Texas Observer
"Anatolia is replete with fine stories which transport the reader into cities, countries, and minds that are both strange and completely familiar. Shivani’s complex but clearly rendered vision encompasses war, corruption, economic growth, social movements, globalization, but locates full-fledged individual characters within these larger forces." —360 Main Street
"[Shivani's] stories provide background for recurrent themes of class distinction, minority status, adherence to or defiance of the status quo, and the ubiquitous influence of authoritarian rule, and they reflect a stream of conflict between past and present, ancient and modern." —Confrontation
"Anatolia and Other Stories sees the promise of the marginal to the processes of change…The volume interweaves, in demonstration and in statement, the lessons of becoming attuned to the processes of transition." —South Carolina Review