Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kind words of praise trickle in for my upcoming collection Cafe Le Whore and Other Stories.

Read *Cafe Le Whore and Other Stories* for a magic carpet ride . . . Sheikh may be the Pakistani immigrant Woody Allen of our times, wringing guilt and manhood torments out of his multicultural backdrops. (Indeed, Woody Allen gets a wink in the title story.) Sheikh's consciousness of style sometimes drives things to the point that he throws words at the page a-la Jackson Pollack - it's worth it, especially as the syntax becomes more of an illustration of the kinds of challenges and barriers the characters must confront. Most readers will find this is a great collection to take on the plane or the subway, or just to sit around the house and read. These stories will relieve your inner tension and add a little spice to your diet.                
 - David Lincoln                                                                                  
For Moazzam Sheikh the human, the political, and the sexual are inseparable. In these ten delicately nuanced stories, full of humor and pathos, Sheikh pushes the limits of language and our understanding of the world. His stories offer a poignant meditation on our place, or the lack of, in the new global reality. 

- Balaji Venkateswaran
An extraordinary collection of tales by a Pakistani writer. Moazzam Shaikh’s stories are not confined to a ‘tradition’, but are refreshingly modern in tone and sensibility as they range over a wide range of locales and themes.                           
-Khademul Islam
The stories in CafĂ© LeWhore are many marvelous things, but they are always ghost stories.  Ghost stories full of life.  Stories about the places that once were, but are lost to a flood, or an infidelity.  There are ghosts of difficult mothers and kings of Bollywood and Punjabi gypsies.  There are surprises in every story—and in every sentence, because Moazzam Sheikh is the rare storyteller, who knows that it is, in fact, as important that a writer tell as it is for the writer to show.                                                                
-  Brian D Bouldrey

Best of east, written in west. Moazzam  Sheikh's stories are absolute gems, a pleasure to read; he packs more details and depth in a short story than a novel by Rushdie. Lost in east, lost in west, sad and lonely, they resonate, echo and shadow what one has lived and what one has left behind.                                 
 -  Syed Afzal Haider

 Moazzam Sheikh's new collection reveals the amazing possibilities of the short story.  His stories encompass a range,  traversing borders and modes of telling, evident even within a single story.  There are diary entries meshed within narratives,  dreams alternating with soliloquies,  and musings that tell you that the mind exists in its own rich maze of stories. Then there are stories within stories, blending the 'unreal' with the imagined,  past and present. There are stories set in Pakistan and also in America,  but all these touch insistently on the lone voice of the individual,  rich with longings, wants and desires; the confusions evident in a seemingly crowded life,  but always in the end, very alone. Especially in stories speckled with humour and as diverse as 'The Mourner', 'Rose'. 'Aunty Nimmy' and 'Film Librarian', it is the pathos that lingers, hauntingly always.
 -  Anu Kumar

Cafe Le Whore is due in late October. More information to follow. Stay tuned!

Cafe Le Whore and Other Stories can be purchased at Small Press Distribution