Anis Shivani

About

Anis Shivani is a fiction writer, poet, and critic in Houston, Texas.

His debut poetry book is My Tranquil War and Other Poems, recently released by NYQ Books. His other new book is the story collection, The Fifth Lash and Other Stories, recently released by C&R Press and currently on the longlist for the Frank O’Connor short story award.

My Tranquil War and Other Poems received advance praise from Franz Wright, Eileen Myles, Fady Joudah, Marilyn Hacker, Kevin Prufer, Campbell McGrath, Michael McClure, and others. A recent review of the book is here, and another one here.

 The Fifth Lash and Other Stories received advance praise from Ron Rash, Gina Ochsner, George Singleton, Murzban Shroff, and others. Publishers Weekly wrote: “These new stories from Shivani, many set in Pakistan, parse the disconnect between public and private behavior, and the desires that must be muted in order for people to survive. Shivani is a perceptive writer who puts his finger on the contradictions his characters navigate to survive daily life.” A recent review of the book is here.

Anis’s debut novel Karachi Raj will be released in October 2013. Orhan Pamuk, Ha Jin, Mohammed Hanif, and Siddhartha Deb have offered advance praise. Look for details soon.

In criticism, Anis’s books include Against the Workshop (2011), the recently completed Literature at the Global Crossroads, and a book in progress called Plastic Realism: Neoliberal Discourse in the New American Novel.

Anis’s other books include Anatolia and Other Stories (2009), the recently completed Soraya: Sonnets, a novel in progress, Abruzzi, 1936, and a poetry manuscript in progress, Empire.

Anis’s work appears in the Southwest Review, Boston Review, Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Epoch, Fence, Boulevard, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, George Review, Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Antioch Review, Subtropics, Green Mountains Review, Puerto del Sol, Colorado Review, Times Literary Supplement, London Magazine, Cambridge Quarterly, Contemporary Review, Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, Fiddlehead, Prism International, Meanjin, and many other journals. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and reviews books for many newspapers and magazines.

Anis won a 2012 Pushcart Prize, graduated from Harvard College, and lives in Houston, Texas.

  1. Really looking forward to reading Slums. Question however; did you spend time in Karachi in preparation for writing this book?

  2. I’ve read Shivani’s evaluation of the MFA academic programs, which in my opinion are long overdue for thoughtful criticism. A couple of points: first, you don’t have to be a right-wing ideologue to think that the stylistic dicta of these programs is constricting. “Write what you know?” John Milton would have been told to forget Paradise Lost because he hadn’t been to hell. And Mr Shakespeare? We think you had better stop trying to write about places like Denmark and Rome, which you’ve never visited and don’t understand. Second, the comparison of American MFA programs to the medieval guilds is very helpful. But does the slow death of medieval crafts foretell the death agonies of the novel? What of the long fiction’s possible rebirth in electronic form? Third, integrating creative imagination into an establishment institution (the university), must naturally inhibit originality–ie, diminish the very creativity it seeks to foster. These communities of writers want to preserve themselves and are therefore conservative in their own way. It’s great for writers to have a secure home; it may not always be great for writing to be institutionalized.

  3. Anis,

    I am writing in response to your piece on The Huffington Post. I like it. I am a philosopher and writer of political and social commentary with a global audience. I haven’t taken the next step and written a book. I am unsure of when I will. See my bio link below.

    Ted
    Daphne, AL
    my biography: http://www.tedburnettresume.blogspot.com

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