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Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice (Tupelo Press Lineage Series) Paperback – April 29, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fasting for Ramadan is a remarkable book: an intensely personal meditation -- shot through with poetry, philosophy, revelation, and doubt -- on one of the world's great spiritual practices." --Toby Lester, Atlantic contributing editor and author of The Fourth Part of the World

"[A]n important book. . . . Written 'in that third voice, a voice between two people, neither one nor the other, neither embodied nor disembodied.' I have wanted to know what fasting in Islam involved . . . to admire its intentions and effects in solitude. . . . I hope that multitudes will find their way to [this book]." -- Fanny Howe, author of The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation and Radical Love --Advance Praise

"Kazim Ali--a writer whose powers astonish in everything he puts pen to--has made in Fasting for Ramadan a book that is hybrid, peregrine, and deeply, quietly revelatory. Ali's meditations on the month-long ritual fast unfold, across cultures and spiritual practices, the deep meaning of a chosen foregoing. These journal-born pages are both intimate and public, at once ecumenical, particular, daily, and eloquently learned; planted on the deep roots of tradition, they breathe this moment's air. Is it possible for a work to be at once modest and an undeniable tour de force? This book proves: it is." --Jane Hirshfield, poet and essayist, author of Given Sugar, Given Salt and Nine Gates --Advance Praise

About the Author

Kazim Ali is author of two volumes of poetry, THE FAR MOSQUE (Alice James Books, 2005) and The Fortieth Day (BOA Editions, 2008), four books of prose—the novels QUINN'S PASSAGE (BlazeVOX Books, 2004) and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SETH (Etruscan Press, 2009); a collection of critical writing, Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence (University of Michigan Press, 2010), and the inspirational memoir FASTING FOR RAMADAN (Tupelo Press, 2011)—as well as a mixed-genre book, Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities (Wesleyan University Press, 2009), finalist for the Ohioana Book Award for Poetry and the Lantern Award for Memoir. Born to Indian parents living in England and raised in Canada and the U.S., Ali has worked as a political organizer, lobbyist, yoga instructor, and professor. Founding editor of Nightboat Books, he now teaches at Creative Writing and Literature at Oberlin College and in the University of Southern Maine's low-residency M.F.A. program.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tupelo Press Lineage Series
  • Paperback: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Tupelo Press (April 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932195947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932195941
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kazim Ali was born in the UK to parents of Indian descent. With his family he emigrated to Canada and then the US where he was raised in an Islamic household. He then attended the University at Albany, receiving a BA and an MA in English. Following his graduation, Kazim worked full time as an organizer for a state-wide organization devoted to advocating for greater access to public higher education, funding for the SUNY system, and increased need-based grant aid for students. Following four years of full time organizing and political activity, Kazim returned to his home in the Western New York area and taught in the English Department of Monroe Community College and served as a writer-in-residence at the Just Buffalo Literary Center. Kazim Ali's work has been published in various national journals including jubilat, Barrow Street, The American Poetry Review, and in the Best American Poetry 2007. His first book of poetry, The Far Mosque,' was published by Alice James Books in 2005. Kazim is also the author of a novel, Quinn's Passage,' published by BlazeVox Books. He is founding editor of Nightboat Books.

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In Fasting for Ramadan, Kazim Ali combines notes he blogged during one month of fasting with a journal he kept during an earlier month of fasting. The writing is lyrical, true, beautiful. It was a pleasure to journey through the month with him, and to come to a greater understanding of body and self with him through his discoveries, both elevated and mundane. I like the way his mind moves, and the way the more public first half (since it was written for a blog) moves into the more private/interior second half. And there are even recipes in the back for some of the mouth-watering fast-breaking foods he writes about! Pick up this book for lovely insight into a profound spiritual practice, the ups, downs, hows, and whys of fasting for Ramadan.
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