An excerpt of "Wooden Spoon," published in 2003 issue of The Long Story.
It was 1964, the summer of his eleventh year, and Enzio finally decided that he’d had enough of his mother’s beatings - he was leaving for good.
Now as he sat on the front porch of the house that his father, a coalminer, had bought when he’d emigrated from Italy, Enzio waited patiently for his mother to go to bed. If there was one thing he knew how to do, it was wait. All the hours spent behind locked closet doors had taught him he merely needed to sit, think, dream or sleep until the shadow cloud of time lifted. That morning he’d packed his knapsack with his sketchbook, twenty dollars, and a few clothes; then hid it under the porch.
An excerpt from "Vishnu, The Boar," a condensed version of Chapter 1 from my unpublished novel The World Does Not Know, won an Editor's Choice Award in the 2017 issue of Best New Writing.
“Paradise does not make itself known as paradise until we have been driven out of it.” –Hermann Hesse
The waning afternoon light was of no use to the hunting party. Neither was the boar cooperating with their plans, for being chased into the rainforest, it came to bay in the thickest part of the jungle, grunting, ready for battle.
Dutta, the bloodhound, sensed this as it led the hunting party down a darkening path under the thick canopy of the Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve. The party— an owner of a nearby tea-estate, his two nephews, his friend the Police Commandant, and two Tamil workers— followed behind. Purple-faced leaf monkeys, startled by the intruders, scurried away in mid-canopy trees. Cicadas and frogs silenced their frantic call and response as the party drew nearer.
The boar squealed, provoking Dutta to growl. Fearing he’d lose the scent of his catch, he raised the pitch of his bark, and then, leapt from the path into the bush and trees after the boar.
An excerpt of "We Are All Businessmen," published in The Atlantic Monthly 2008 Fiction Issue.
“Hallo, my chum!” I say to Mr. Richard as he comes down from the first-class carriage of the noon Colombo to Matara train. But I think maybe he is not remembering to me, or even his promise to help my son go to American university, until he says, “You’re Ranil?” Americans. Always forgetting and always rushing somewhere. Afraid that the demons may inhabit them if they stay so still for a moment. They rush to the nice beaches we have here in Sri Lanka. But then they just lie there in hot sun, sometimes not even taking a sea bath. As a schoolboy, to them I used to sell King coconuts from my father’s garden, or sometimes, ropes the old ladies twined together in the shade of the jackfruit and palm trees. But Mr. Richard is good. He gave help to a village boy last year for the company scholarship to go study engineering in America.
An excerpt of " An Arrangement of Blue and Green," published in 2007 issue of The Green Hills Literary Lantern.
Morgan Kelly knew his wife would be upset with him for losing his job, but he told himself, at least, he would have freedom to paint as he entered his makeshift studio in the garage of their split-level, where the early summer smell bore faint memories of cool water through a garden hose.
This 2013 collection includes my essay, "Householder Disintengration and Awakening of the Feminine Consciousness: Shashi Deshpande's A Matter of Time."
With Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, V.S. Naipaul and Kiran Desai winning prestigious awards for their literary output, Indian English literature has gained a voice of its own. Yet, as most readers of criticism of it agree, there is a dearth of serious examination of its authors and their work. This collection of essays attempts a contrapuntal reading of Indian English literature...
An excerpt of " Terrorism and Its Metaphors," published in the 2006 issue of FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts.
I want to map out the metaphors of terrorism to critique how they are used in United States political rhetoric. These metaphors and their usage parallel United States history, cold war ideologies, and globalization. Central to this investigation is an analysis of how the hegemonic order appropriates the media and uses such metaphors to manufacture consent for supporting a vaguely defined “war on terror” indefinitely. Metaphors have been called “the dreamwork of language,” by Donald Davidson who writes also that “the interpretation of dreams requires collaboration between a dreamer and a waker” (29). But terrorism is not a dream. It is not a metaphor. My point is that by identifying the geography of terrorism as it is currently presented in our media, by interpreting these media “dreams” about terrorism, readers might awaken to a more sobering view of terrorism.
An excerpt of "The Interests of Science," published in Aestas 2016.
From the bus stand, Jessica chose to walk the sandy path to the left of the Polhena Beach Hotel, rather than enter the lobby and walk through it, to the Devil Dance ceremony taking place out back. She was to meet up with Stefan, her anthropologist boyfriend of three months. Behind her, the ocean broke upon the large reef, and a few gulls called out above the waves.
The path led her into a small patch of jungle, and then, curved away from the hotel. Muted ceremonial drumming thumped down the path towards her. The trail darkened in the twilight, and she hurried her pace. A few children ran towards her.
One of them reached out her hand and said, “Toffees?”
An excerpt from "Getting Home," a Runner-Up in The Great American Fiction Contest, Saturday Evening Post, January-February, 2017..
I’m driving my son, Michael, down to this fundraiser at the Canton Public Library so he can get his ball glove signed by Willie Jackson, the All-Star outfielder for the Cleveland Indians. He’ll never know that I tossed around the idea of just giving him a model rocket for his birthday instead. Last time I saw Willie Jackson, we’d played together on the Little League Red Sox, and things hadn’t ended too well. But here we are gliding along I-77 South. The pale dome of McKinley’s Monument crouches before the skyline of a few hotels, bank buildings, the Stark County Courthouse, church steeples, a radio tower and factory smokestacks in the distance. Things haven’t changed here a whole lot since the 60s. Maybe less pollution since the factories closed.
“This will be great.” My son slaps the ball into his glove then reaches over to the radio.
“Yep,” I say, though I wish we were going someplace else.
I talked with Nepali writer, Samrat Upadhyay about madness, exile, resistance and his new story collection, Mad Country, for Poets&Writers online exclusive in April.
A starred review in Kirkus, and a positive review in the New York Times Book Review (4/7/2017), I believe the stories in Mad Country reflect the most sublime, masterful, and wholly original fiction of Upadhyay’s work (5 other books) to date.
Read his illuminations and musings about writing fiction, the characters in his book, and what it means to see writing as resistance.