Congrats to our February Writer’s Regimen Winner!
At the end of every month-long Writer’s Regimen, participants are invited to submit up to three of their best regimen-inspired pieces for a chance at publication in SER Online. It was difficult for our editorial staff to narrow down the submissions we received following February’s Writer’s Regimen! We’re pleased to congratulate Alexandra Umlas on her winning piece, “Echo.”
Review: Uncle Sharif’s Life in Music by Kazim Ali
With several volumes of poetry, books of essays, novels, and works in translation under his belt, Kazim Ali seems to have done it all. The writer has few literary genres left to debut and so we are all the more fortunate to have this: his first collection of short stories, Uncle Sharif’s Life in Music.
In the title story, Ali uses the vehicle of Uncle Sharif’s visit and a trip to Niagara Falls to move his young narrator, Zeffer, past his adolescent self-consciousness toward nascent artistic and spiritual sensibilities. The coming-of-age tale told through a visitation works well here and recalls in some ways Jhumpa Lahiri’s “When Mr. Prizada Came to Dine” from her own debut story collection, Interpreter of Maladies. The story is one of Ali’s best, but it’s an odd one to open with and to hang the title on. Along with the book’s cover (Uncle Sharif with his sitar, Zeffer spying puckishly from behind a chair), the story suggests the collection you are about to read is about childhood mischief, retrospection, nostalgia.
Don’t be deceived.