In Halal Pork and Other Stories, Cihan Kaan projects an avant garde, post 9/11 world, from the perspective of a young Muslim New Yorker. It's a place where Coney Island meets Mars; where hijabi girls are punk rock dervishes; where identity salesmen count pigeons at insane asylums as a cream cheese conspiracy brews in gitmo; where rich boys pay to be Muslim for a day; where the transgendered are holy; and where the bacon is halal. Kaan offers up five urban Sufi tales in the swirling graffiti of Brooklyn.
Forthcoming Fall 2010
Welcome to the hip and edgy and vibrant world of Halal Pork & Other Stories, a postcolonial feast where, as the title implies, contradictions reign, the figurative is made literal, stolen homelands are bought back and not fought over, and a Coney Island circus star, garbed in a space suit and known for her levitating act, is none other than the prophetess from another planet. These five, witty stories serve up a refreshing crash course on identity, diaspora, dispossession, and on the not-so-distant future full of "alien-human hybrid forms" seeking their "way to a place of solace, grief, or limbo." An impressive debut.
What do you mean you’d never even thought about reading Tatar Turkish Russian Muslim immigrant Brooklyn post-colonial sci-fi punk-rock short fiction before? After you’ve finished Cihan Kaan’s Halal Pork and Other Stories, you’ll realize how ridiculously narrow-minded you must have been. Irreverent, urgent, funny and refreshingly unpredictable, Kaan entertains and instructs in devious and delightful ways.
Moustafa Bayoumi, The Edward Said Reader and How does it Feel to be a Problem: Young and Arab in New York