"Monsoon Rains": Short Fiction by Moazzam Sheikh
Another Subcontinent is proud to present a story from Moazzam Sheikh's upcoming volume of short stories, The Idol Lover, and Other Stories from Pakistan (Ithuriel's Spear Press, May 2008).
About Moazzam Sheikh
Praise for The Idol Lover, and Other Stories from Pakistan
The Idol Lover is an eloquent document of miscommunication. Moazzam Sheikh's prose is fragrant with what might have been as it goes about the business of chronicling what has been. This volume is a passionate and elegant contribution to fiction set in the subcontinent.
Born Storyteller Moazzam Sheikh’s accomplished tales move between two continents—and worlds—to tell of desire, war and the interplay of power and powerlessness in
Pakistan, India, the Middle East and San Francisco. Tales also imbued with the immigrant's sense of loss and quest for self amid new landscapes.
While steeped in social reality, Moazzam Sheikh's stories of many worlds and locales are marked by a dream-like quality. His narratives of South Asia and San Francisco are suffused with body rhythms and search for connection in an intriguing kaleidoscope of the erotic and the cosmopolitan. In their surrender to hooker encounters or forbidden love, Sheikh's male lonely hearts lay bare an impressive range of lovelessness and sexual ambiguity, sadness and sensitivity that is distinctively his forte as a writer.
Moazzam Sheikh's stories move across a geography as varied as their interests. From contemporary Pakistan to colonial India to the United States, Sheikh maps the ways in which South Asian identities cohere and threaten to disintegrate at the contradictory intersections of memory, desire, connection, and exploitation. The stories are rarely predictable, in either form or psychological development; yet they betray no hint of authorial trickery. To read these stories is to enter the worlds of his characters, and to sense the vertigo of their lives. Sheikh's voice too, is unique, bringing to the English short story the flavor and verve of the Urdu/Hindi tradition. An important and fresh collection of stories, in more ways than one.
Another Subcontinent published "The Wind Blew it All Away", Moazzam's translation of Ikramullah's Urdu short story, "Le Gayi Pavan Ura", in February 2006. In May 2007 we published his translations of stories by Nadir Ali and Zubair Ahmed.