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Essay News Poem Review Short Story
Anarkali, or Six Early Deaths in Lahore
A review by Mel Ulm of my short story, Anarkali, or Six Early Deaths in Lahore. Published in The Reading Life.
I have been closely following the work of Farah Ahamed since April 15, 2015. Anarkali, or Six Deaths in Lahore is set in contemporary Lagore, the capital of Pakistan. This marvellous story focuses on how six connected people die as a result of the corruption and deeply embedded cultural and religious prejudices in Pakistan…
Review of Warm Beers and Soggy Burgers
A review of my story Warm Beers and Soggy Burgers by Mel Ulm.
I first began to follow the work of Farah Ahamed on April 3, 2015. Warm Beers and Soggy Burgers is the ninth of her short stories upon which I have posted. I reserve such coverage for writers whose talent and insight I greatly value.
Several of her stories are set in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and deal with a wonderful character, Dr. Patel, of whom I have become very fond.
My main purpose here is to continue my records of reading the work of Farah Ahamed and to let interested readers know of the availability of this marvellous short story online.
The story is narrated by an affluent married woman living in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Her husband, Inayat, has booked a family trip to Thailand for next week but neglected to tell her. She is upset as she has a radio job interview set up…
Review of Kuzhali Manickavel’s Whore. Published in Out of Print, India.
There are many reasons why I enjoy Kuzhali Manickavel’s writing; most of all for its humanity but also for her experimentation with tense, point of view, and irrealism. In her work, the reader slips in and out of different versions reality, one moment feeling intensely connected to the characters or narrator and the events taking place, but at the very next, estranged and bereft…
This is Us and This is Us Outside
Review of Kuzhali Manickavel’s This is Us and This is Us Outside, Out of Print, India.
The first time I read Kuzhali Manickavel’s stories I was left completely disorientated. I thought it must have been because I missed something, so I went back and reread them. But even the second and third time my head was still whirling. I felt on the one hand connected to the emotional centre of the story, but at the same time distinctly unmoored. The stories have a light, almost playful tone, but this is only an artful and skilful ploy to beguile us from the deeper issues at stake for the author…
A Man of Talent
A review of my story A Man of Talent in The Reading Life.
I first began to follow the work of Farah Ahamed on April 3, 2015. A Man of Talent is the eighth of her short stories upon which I have posted. I reserve such coverage for writers whose talent and insight I greatly value. Several of her stories are set in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and deal with a wonderful character, Dr. Patel, of whom I have become very fond…
A Contemporary Perspective: Conradology
Review of Conradology, a collection of short stories and non-fiction essays inspired by the work of Joseph Conrad. Includes my short story, The Helper of Cattle.
Conradian themes of power and greed characterise Farah Ahamed’s ‘The Helper of Cattle’. Ahamed folds many ideas into this poignant story of corruption, a cursed and silent woman, land and traditions, invasion of foreigners, native beliefs versus modernity. Towards the end of the story one of the character’s says:
The Maasai have a secret … We know when it will rain, when a lion is near, and what kind of a heart a man has.
In her impressively lucid prose, Ahamed crafts essentially a story of a human heart, and the darkness it conceals.