Technologies of the Self by Haris A. Durrani
By Haris A. Durrani
“So precise to combined event, it feels defiant.”
–Sofia Samatar, winner of the area myth Award
In this well timed and immediately awesome fiction debut, Haris Durrani immerses readers within the lifetime of a tender American Muslim suffering to appreciate himself within the context of his kin, classmates, and modern city life.
Engineering pupil Jihad, or “Joe” as he introduces himself within the complicated intersections of put up Sept. 11 big apple urban, unearths himself on a private quest of in all probability a non secular nature, no matter if he isn’t certain that’s what it's – in the end, it’s challenging sufficient to maintain halal in his Dominican-Pakistani-Muslim Washington Heights household.
He’s shocked to discover himself within the tales his Uncle Tomás tells of his personal adolescence, tales during which Tomás fights either the satan and the weaknesses of the flesh – usually even as. tradition, kingdom, faith, relatives, identification, race, and time conflict for dominion over Jihad till he realizes he's dealing with a similar demon his uncle claims to have defeated, and all Jihad has to struggle with is himself.
Durrani's tales, memoirs, and essays have seemed in Analog technology Fiction and truth, The college of Toronto Undergraduate magazine of center East stories, The 2014 Campbellian Anthology, the hot York assessment of technology Fiction, and The top teenager Writing of 2012, 2011, and 2010. He writes for altMuslimah and has seemed on a regular basis on John Hockenberry’s NPR exhibit The Takeaway.
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He carries his hefty albums to share at family reunions. “Fuck this,” Tomás says, as if about to leave, but he doesn’t. Carlos smiles quietly. “You did stupid things,” Mom repeats. She pauses. “You should have seen how your grandfather talked to those guys on the phone when he got the call about Carlos’s draft to Vietnam. He gave it to them. Never heard him swear so much. He never swore. ” Beneath the Christmas tree, Little Mike’s twins roll around and send tiny race cars over the lacquered wood.
Iron I learn many of the family stories this Christmas, but I’ve heard versions of them before. We’re at Monica and Danny’s home in New Jersey. Monica is my cousin, Titi Lourdes’s daughter. My parents hate driving to Jersey because of the traffic, but we haven’t seen everyone in a while. It’s the first party Uncle Tomás has attended since the TSA caught him with five kilos of Colombian heroin at JFK. His parole officer is away for the holiday. “That bitch,” he says to me. ” Dad and I are squeezed onto Monica’s couch with all six Paoli siblings: Lourdes, Gloria, Carlos, Mike, Tomás, and Mom.
There was a lot of wailing. Muslims are not supposed to wail because it disturbs the soul, which remains in its corpse hovering alone in the darkness and the cold, waiting to be ferried to the afterlife. But I wailed so much that Dad had to carry me away. I didn’t understand but cried anyway. From the other side of the couch, Titi Gloria smiles at me. “You know I’m your grandmother now, right? You know that, right? ” “Yes,” I say. She tells me this every time I see her. I wonder how Abuela could do the things she did.