Anatolia and Other Stories
From Anis Shivani
Longlist 2010 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award
NBCC Board Member Rigoberto Gonzalez picks Anatolia and Other Stories as the Best Small Press Book of 2009
Contains Pushcart Prize Special Mention story “Dubai”
In these stories of novelistic breadth, Shivani takes the measure of the fallout from globalization as well as its advantages, exploring cultures old and new to gauge their ultimate resiliencies. An undocumented Indian worker in Dubai, an Issei man in a California internment camp, a persecuted minority novelist in contemporary Tehran, and a loyal-to-the-core Jewish trader in the Ottoman empire are the kinds of sympathetic characters who bridge place and individuality in this powerful collection. These stories make us confront the hardest intellectual challenges of the emerging world, without losing narrative urgency, concision, and lyrical power.
Read reviews for Anatolia.
REVIEWS OF ANATOLIA AND OTHER STORIES
Longlist 2010 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award
“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.” Read the rest of the review by 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.” Read the rest of the review by Catherine Browders in 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.” Review by Garry Craig Powell in American Book Review (not available online).
“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.” Read the rest of the review by Marian Haddad in 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.” Read the full review 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.” Read the rest of the review by Lee Mhatre in 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.” Review by Cameron Bushnell in the South Carolina Review (not available online).
National Book Critic Circle Board Member Rigoberto Gonzalez picks Anatolia and Other Stories as the Best Small Press book of 2009.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR ANATOLIA AND OTHER STORIES
“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, 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
“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
“In Anatolia and Other Stories, Anis Shivani does no less than deliver a world. Read together, these smart, sure stories form wild, magnetic patterns on the brain; I’m left believing that seemingly random occurrences might add up to something more than what I’d imagined.”— Julie Shigekuni, author of Invisible Gardens
“Contemporary American fiction tends to favor style over substance, inactivity over action, ambivalence over judgment, irony over assertion, solipsism over a wide and encompassing worldview. As Nobel secretary Horace Engdahl recently noted, the U.S. doesn’t participate in the world’s ongoing literary dialogue. But now comes Anis Shivani and his first book of fiction, Anatolia and Other Stories. Already known for his penetrating, erudite, and brutally honest literary essays, Shivani has now joined the ranks of America’s best fictioneers. The echoes we hear in these short stories harken back to the masters, Chekhov, Anderson, Kleist, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Flaubert, James, Kipling and Sartre. No postmodern games here, no winking coyness—just solid, international storytelling. No new voice in recent memory is as weighted with intelligence and understanding of the human animal as that of Anis Shivani. To be sure, Engdahl spoke too soon.”— Eric Miles Williamson, author of East Bay Grease