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“Don’t Go There, Lyosha!” by Fiza Pathan

Vadik and Alyosha were in their woolens playing with the football in the snow. Alyosha’s baby brother, Lyosha, was sitting on a moss-covered rock watching the game intently. The elder boys cursed in their native language whenever the ball did not do what they wished it to do, and this was disturbing little Lyosha quite a bit. His mama had told him never to curse or swear and he obediently followed her instructions. As for his elder sibling Alyosha, he was brash and couldn’t care less. In fact, he regretted that he had to babysit his little brother that day while both his parents were selling their goods in the community market. They would only be back by nightfall, just in time for dinner and the rosary. However it was getting colder and Lyosha was squirming on the rock.

“Alyosha brat – Alyosha brat,” squealed the uneasy Lyosha. “I’m hungry and cold. Can you please stop playing and let’s go to the Vladmir’s for a meal?”

“Shut up Lyosha,” barked back Alyosha as he stole the football from Vadik, “I’m busy playing.”

“But I’m hungry Alyosha brat…”

“Shut up Lyosha or I’ll come over there and beat you hard.”

Lyosha sniffled, squatted down on the snow-covered earth and continued to watch his brother play while his stomach growled with hunger. Why did mama have to leave him alone with Alyosha brat when she knew they never got along? She took Sobaka their dog, but not timid Lyosha.

The game started to get more intense. Although Lyosha was too young to understand the intricacies of football, he knew that his elder brother was one up on Vadik, the son of the village school teacher. Soon Lyosha’s hunger disappeared and he started to cheer for his brother, the way those people on television used to cheer Messi, Alyosha’s favorite footballer.

“Come on Alyosha brat! You can do it!” cried Lyosha excitedly.

That did the trick. Alyosha smiled at his younger brother, nodded his head and yet again stole the football from Vadik. Vadik cursed loudly as Alyosha kicked the ball hard out of his reach, but Alyosha had kicked too hard.

The ball flew into the air and landed with a muffled ‘thump’ in the snow-covered backyard of a ramshackle cottage from where a single yellow light bulb emitted its artificial rays.

Alyosha cursed aloud while Vadik stood frozen in place.

“I’ll get it Alyosha brat,” cried Lyosha as he toddled towards the lonely unkempt backyard. Alyosha dived towards his brother and grabbed him before the lad could slip under a rather large hole in the fence to get the ball.

“Let me go brat – let me go!”

“Don’t go there Lyosha you idiot,” admonished Alyosha as he held on to his brother tightly. “That is the old koldun’s place.”

“What is ‘koldun’ Alyosha brat?” asked Lyosha who was not that well versed in the regional language because of his tender years.

Alyosha turned his brother’s face away from the cottage as he answered. “Lyosha don’t worry about what I said, and don’t worry about the ball. By tomorrow the koldun who lives there will place it back outside his fence. But don’t you dare go there now or God knows what will happen to us.”

“But what is the meaning of ‘koldun’ Alyosha brat!” said Lyosha in an irritated tone of voice. “I want to know or I’ll go under the fence.”

Alyosha slapped his little brother several times, “You will not go anywhere there Lyosha you hear me – you will not go to that wicked koldun’s cottage or he will….”

“Or he will what?”

Alyosha shrugged. “Or he will … I don’t know but papa says he is not a good man. He never goes to church and no one has seen him work in his backyard for the past 30 years. His light is always switched on, and if anyone drops something like a ball or a kite into his yard, he throws it back at night and you find it outside the fence the next morning.”

“Alyosha is right,” whispered Vadik with fear in his voice. “My papa too says that he isn’t a nice man. Papa once saw his face at night while coming back from a neighboring town.”

“What did he look like?” asked Lyosha timidly

Vadik shuddered at the very thought. “Papa said that he had the eyes of a devil.”

“Oh,” muttered Lyosha. He stared at the snow-covered ground, deep in thought while the other two boys looked fearfully at the cottage. They both saw the koldun’s light bulb through the single window in the cottage, and Alyosha held on to his younger brother tightly as he remembered the time when he and another friend were playing with a baseball when suddenly the wretched ball went over the fence. They found it the next day outside. Alyosha’s father told him that the ‘koldun’ threw it back at night…the ‘sorcerer’ threw it back at night.

*

(Inside the cottage)

The fragile frame of an old man with a long gray beard and even longer pepper-salt hair, with eyes so piercing it had transfixed many a man, looked outside from the corner of his tiny window. He would deal with the ball later, but such handsome children….

He stared at them with his vicious eyes. His stare went past them and he saw a young maiden in light blue jeans and a white woolen sweater passing behind them…such a beauty, if only he could have her for dinner. Oh! Her breasts…such beautiful breasts! However she walked out from his line of vision and there the three boys stood, still staring at the window.

One was really small who was being held by an older one with a lot of redness in his cheeks, while the third stood with dark brown hair paralyzed with fear.

Alexis, come closer to me. Do not be afraid little boy, I will take good care of you.

The wizened old man raised his left hand in the form of a blessing towards the direction of the three boys. All his fingers were bent in a grotesque way that even lifting it made the old man wince in pain, which he delighted in. Another woman passed them again with a man by her side. He must have been her husband, the protector of her virtue, but who could ever protect her from the wicked stare of this filthy skeleton of a man in the cottage.

I’m your confidant my lady. Do not listen to those others, they are jealous. Listen to me only.

The ancient man without blinking at all turned his face to the cross of the Christ on his wall which was infested with a whole army of white ants. He wore only a long tattered ebony black robe which had by now stuck grossly to his flesh like his own skin. He tried peeling it off him once, but he tore his tender skin in the bargain and bled for a whole week.

He made the sign of the cross with his left hand reverently, without blinking. His face was wrinkled and his flesh seemed to have turned gray along with his hair. He walked slowly, his eyes fixed on the yellow cross, never blinking even once.

I speak the word of the Lord Himself my lady. You must give me pleasure and I’ll heal Alexis.

The cross that the man stared at was his favorite one. Instead of the sculpted body of Jesus, in His place on the yellow cross, there hung the small rotting body of a dead rat with his dark eyes transfixed…the poor animal had died of fear.

The old man they called ‘koldun’ again made the sign of the cross with a grin on his face. He then, after whispering a chant, sat down at his study where there lay many pages written upon in a neat hand. No – not by the old man, for he had never learned to read or write, but yet he could cite scripture and could read everything he laid his hypnotic eyes upon.

Bring me the fairest women of the land my lady and Alexis will be healed I promise you.

There were many photographs framed on the walls of the cottage which had yellowed with time. A picture of a regal family…a picture of a monastery…a picture of a younger version of the old man with many young women surrounding him…a picture of an orgy…a picture of a middle-aged version of the old man with his eyes fixed on the camera and his left arm held above his head in the form of a blessing…

Lust is not a sin my lady. It is a way to salvation. It will not bring the calamity upon you.

…a picture of a well-groomed man in uniform with a mite of a boy by his side in a uniform …a picture of a naked woman…a picture of a dead body with bullet wounds all over it, especially on its face….

Give me power and your family will live my lady. Kill me and in two years…and in two years….

The old man whispered a word to the ceiling. Immediately from the ripped portions in his robe, maggots emerged, and the old man smiled wickedly. The maggots crawled towards the desk and began to make impressions on a fresh sheet of paper, which looked a lot like words written by a human. As the maggots stained the sheets, the sinister old man dusted his robe and then got up slowly.

He went towards a glass cabinet next to the study table where the maggots were doing their business. There inside the glass cabinet were placed a number of disgusting and nauseating things. He glared at them with fondness. He had collected them over the years, one by one. It had made him the most mystical man of the kingdom of old. Ah! Those were the days. He could have collected more but weren’t these quite enough?

If you fail me my lady then I promise you, your family will die in two years…so give into me…

In the cabinet lay, in separate liquid filled glass jars, human blood now clotted over time…a pair of a dissected woman’s breasts…the purple head of a new born infant…dead maggots…nail clippings…the dead body of a large vampire bat with its fangs still intact…

If they kill me my lady, then let that foretell the grief that shall befall you and your empire.

…a king cobra’s mangled body…a number of bullets stained in blood…a great number of human fingers…semen of a man…a heart of a swine…the tongue of a frog…and much more…

See, I’ve cured Alexis. He bleeds no more even if I cut him. Now for my reward my lady….

The man chuckled to himself and opened the sliding door of the glass cabinet. From there he pulled out a vial of holy water from Jerusalem. He pulled open the plug and smelt the water which smelled of wet earth. So many memories were brought back to the old man. He remembered his mother, poor soul, who saw from the beginning the growth of a licentious nature in her son. She therefore took refuge in the Lord Jesus to cure him and he was blessed by the Lord with healing powers…‘koldun’ they call him…no he was a monk…a servant of the Lord!

We have laced his cake and wine with poison but the devil still is alive. How can that be?

Servants of the Lord don’t speak a falsehood. They thought they could kill him many years ago, but yet he lives. He lives with the wounds they inflicted upon him, and in return the Lord Jesus blessed him with maggots, his comrades.

Shoot the devil! Don’t look into his eyes just shoot him – Shoot him!

But if he is alive that means, all the royals are not dead. Someone must be alive, but who? For his prophesy was always right. He tried to search for the missing royal but he could not go on without causing pain to his maggots. They needed to live…they needed to feed on him. He needed them and they needed him.

My Lord! After so many bullets the Satan’s heart still beats. Put him in a sack and drown him.

The old man went back to his study table. The maggots had finished their writing for the day. He allowed them to re-enter him and he read, with the eye in his chest, what they had written.

He rises! By God he is fighting for his life in the water! Make him stay under water!

The maggots had written:

It has been a hundred years since my so called death. But I have lived and will continue to live until I find the missing Romanov. It is 2016 and I have still been faithful to my vocation of lust. But beware people of Russia for a storm heads your way. An evil head has risen among you to ruin your nation, just the way you ruined my beautiful Alexandra. This being will be the cause of your destruction. So take heed and pray to God by lusting after sin for only that shall save you, my people of Russia. For sin does not openly admit it’s failings like I do. Sin arrives stating it has no failings. Take heed my people of Russia.

Rasputin

Rasputin_listovka

 

Copyright © 2018 Fiza Pathan

Image courtesy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:PD-old-100

KILLER NASHVILLE SILVER FALCHION FINALIST

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The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Finalists have been determined.

It is my honor to announce that my book The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories by Fiza Pathan is a #Finalist in category Best Short Story in the Killer Nashville 2018 Silver Falchion Award.

As mentioned in their email dated August 8, 2018: We’d like to thank all who entered the 2018 competition. We received many excellent entries, making this one of our toughest competitions to date.


Silver Falchion Award winners and runners-up will be announced at the
Killer Nashville Awards Dinner on August 25, 2018. (Keeping my fingers crossed. Read the awesome lineup of deserving books/authors.)

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Since 2006, Killer Nashville has been an advocate for beginning and mid-list writers, as well as a resource for platform-building for established authors. It is a community of genre and non-genre writers whose work contains elements of mystery, thriller, or suspense.

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award™ is committed to discovering new writers, as well as superlative books by established authors and, upon discovery, sharing those writers and their works with new readers.

HISTORY

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards began in 2008 as a way to honor attending writers at Killer Nashville. Alumni of Killer Nashville then asked if we could open the awards to them, which we did. Non-alumni then asked if we could open the awards to them. We did. Then, alumni from other countries asked if we could open the award to them. We listened there, as well. And now the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards are open—fiction and nonfiction, anthologies, essays, collections, and more—to writers throughout the world. (Source: Killer Nashville website)

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Judging Process: (Source: Killer Nashville Facebook Timeline May 23, 2017)

All entries to the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award go through multiple rounds of judging that are performed by a collective of industry peers—writers, editors, agents, reviewers, etc. Each title is assigned a numerical score addressing multiple elements present within the submitted work. Scores are averaged together and the best-performing works move on to the next round of judging. This process is repeated until the judges are able to determine finalists and definitive winners in each respective category.

As additional components of Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award, we host two awards competitions that are determined by popular vote.

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice Award is given to the author who receives the most votes for his/her title. Voting is done online and is open to everyone. Each user can vote only once per category. This award was designed to give readers and fans a chance to honor their favorite authors and titles. By submitting to the Silver Falchion Award competition, authors are automatically placed in the Reader’s Choice Award contest, as well.

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Best Attending Author Award is open for voting to all attendees of the Killer Nashville conference and is a chance for them to honor their favorite author who submitted to the Silver Falchion Award and is also in attendance at the event. Non-registrants of Killer Nashville are excluded from voting.

 

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Do vote for my book for the Readers Choice Award voting for which is open to all. You will find it listed under Anthology/Short Story. My multiple award-winning book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and online stores. Bookstores, wholesalers can order their books through Ingram.

#SilverFalchion
#KillerNashville
#Finalist
#ShortStory
#FizaPathan
 

 

 

#Press Release The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories places in the 2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards

For Immediate Release:
Place: Mumbai, INDIA
Date: June 22, 2018

There is nothing more exhilarating and uplifting to an author than her book being recognized either with a good review from a trade reviewer or placing in prestigious competitions. It is an even more humbling experience when the same book is recognized as being suitable for children to read.

In 2009, the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards were conceived with children in mind. As mentioned on the Story Monsters LLC website: “Not only do we want to recognize and honor accomplished authors in the field of children’s literature, but we also want to highlight up-and-coming, newly published authors, and younger published writers.

“Divided into 56 distinct subject categories ranging from books on the environment and cooking to sports and family issues, and even marketing collateral that complements a book, the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards are geared toward stories that appeal to children of all ages. We are looking for books that are original, innovative and creative in both content and design. A Purple Dragonfly Book Awards seal on your book’s cover, marketing materials, or website tells parents, grandparents, educators, and caregivers that they are giving children the very best in reading excellence. Our judges are industry experts with specific knowledge about the categories over which they preside.

“Being honored with a Purple Dragonfly Book Award confers credibility upon the winner and gives published authors the recognition they deserve and provide a helping hand to further their careers.”

I am therefore honored to announce that my book The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories placed in the 2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards which is sponsored by Story Monsters LLC ® home to the award-winning Story Monsters Ink® magazine, the literary resource for teachers, librarians, and parents — selected by School Library Journal as one of the best magazines for kid and teens.

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My book was a Second Place Winner in the “E-Book/LGBT” category and received Honorable Mention in “Family Matters.”

I congratulate all the authors who placed in the competition. I also wish thank to Story Monsters LLC for recognizing my book as being suitable for children to read. I hope that many teens, Young Adults, librarians, parents, and teachers pick up my book and learn to be more accepting of the LGBT community. My book is available in Hardcover, Paperback, and E-Book and can be purchased from Amazon. My book is being distributed worldwide through Ingram. Booksellers, wholesalers, librarians, and Corporates can approach Ingram for bulk buying at huge discounts but on a Firm Sale Basis. Or they can email us directly with their requirements at fizapathan@fizapathanpublishing.com seeking our terms and conditions.

Further, Librarians please note for your reference, my book is registered with the United States Copyright Office under Registration Number TX 8-531-285 – Effective date of Registration January 27, 2018.

It will not be out of place to mention here that my book has placed in the below mentioned awards, either as Finalist or Winner:

2018 Montaigne Medal Finalist (Eric Hoffer Book Award)

2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book – Notable Indie

2018 Independent Press Award – Distinguished favorite in LGBTQ Fiction

2018 San Francisco Book Festival – Winner in category Gay

2018 International Book Awards – Finalist in Fiction – LGBTQ category

2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards – 2nd Place Winner – LGBT (E-Book)

2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards – Honorable Mention – Family Matters (E-Book)

The following are the reviews received from Trade reviewers:

“In The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Pathan expertly writes of suppression and love on such a deep level the reader may feel they are learning about her own life. The intimacy of language pulls the reader in page by page, diving in to 21 emotionally rich stories bringing to life social hardships the LGBT community face every day. From hopelessly single 58-year-old drag queens to a culture that believes arranged marriages are more vital than how you feel, it’s easy to see Pathan genuinely understands pain and acceptance. Besides the range of emotions created for her characters, Pathan also succeeds to speak through her characters in a breezy conversational tone that would make it easy for anyone to read and enjoy. With her shift from different time eras and cultures, The Love That Dare Not Speak its Name is not only for people struggling with their sexuality but people old and young that can easily connect to each and every story.” ~Killer Nashville 2018 Silver Falchion Award Nominee Review by Britany Menken

” . . . examines the diversity of global LGBTQ communities and their common challenges . . .incredibly varied collection of 21 stories covers the gamut of LGBTQ issues and the hurdles individuals face. . . highlights the somewhat lesser-known topics of asexuality and intersex identities . . . tackles one of the most volatile topics for not just LGBTQ communities, but also the entire world . . . this volume’s exhaustive approach to elevating queer issues remains commendable.”

~Kirkus Reviews

“Each story in The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name resounds a call for the cultural acceptance of LGBTQ+ people . . . A tender and enlightening collection of stories focused on modern sexuality and related through a diverse cast of characters . . . Heartfelt and at times shocking, the stories in this collection shine a light on hate, prejudice, and whirlwind of emotions that LGBTQ+ people and their allies face . . . The book is careful with details and terminology, resulting in respectful and informative writing that helps drive each story and deliver appropriate impact. Many of the stories focus on intersex children and adults, and the confusion of the characters is tangible as they navigate love and sexuality in ambiguous terms. It is tragic to watch these characters, many of whom feel “born in the wrong body,” struggle with their shame and self-esteem, as well as with the nefarious forces of the outside world . . . These stories are not light. In addition to sexuality, they draw on themes of religion, friendship, family, justice, and self-worth. As the grandfather of one intersex child says, “I will say that equality exists beyond the boundaries of what is between someone’s legs.” The collection a testament to this statement. Another grief-stricken character laments, “My sister died in anonymity,” a silence that the collection works to reverse. Stories follow a thought-provoking arc, while each elicits empathy and sadness. Fictional newspaper articles echo the all-too-real horrors of homophobic bullying, rage, and murder, emphasizing that the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community should not be ignored.” ~Meredith Hardwicke for Foreword Clarion Reviews

“THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME is, at its core, a series of loving arguments, making a case for the acceptance and support of people as human beings, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity. . . Each individual’s story, however, is their own, and in the end it’s the people whose relationships matter – the troubled nephew taken in by his drag queen uncle, the mother who chooses to have a living daughter instead of a dead son, the bookstore owner who connects deeply with a customer – and it is they who make the stories come alive.” ~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader

“Pathan’s stories are notable for their sympathetic characters and strong message of tolerance.” ~BlueInk Review

“A sublime collection of short stories that tug at your heartstrings Fiza Pathan delivers an exquisite work of literature. . . . powerful and poignant.” ~BookViral

” . . .hopefully, it is books like these that will ultimately enable true recognition and acceptance of this much alienated and shunned community, and eventually enable them to get to a place where being LGBTQIA is regarded just as normal and ordinary as being heterosexual or anything else in the world today. This is a must-read book!”~Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite

Each story in this collection is cleverly constructed to force the reader to think about LGBTQ issues from a different perspective. The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name by Fiza Pathan is a powerful book that everyone should read, regardless of what community they identify with.” ~Authors Talk About It

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Love-That-Dare-Speak-Name/dp/8193290658/

https://www.storymonsters.com/book-briefs/2018-purple-dragonfly-book-awards-winners-announced

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories Honored as a Finalist in the 2018 International Book Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MUMBAI – The results of the 2018 International Book Awards have been announced. I am happy to inform you that my book The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories placed as as a “Finalist” in the Fiction: LGBTQ category. This is the fifth honor my book has received since its publication in November 2017. My heartiest congratulations to all those who placed in the competition.

I truly believe that whenever my book places in a competition, the message it tries to convey has reached the ears and heart of the movers and shakers in the publishing world: the editors, publishers, judges, or reviewers, and they will, in turn, carry the torch forward and ignite the flame.

The press release issued by American Book Fest, the organisers of the competition, is given below:

LOS ANGELES – American Book Fest announced the winners and finalists of THE 2018 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (IBA) on May 27, 2018. Over 400 winners and finalists were announced in over 90 categories. Awards were presented for titles published in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of American Book Fest, said this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from authors and publishers around the world, which were then narrowed down to the final results.

Keen says of the awards, “The 2018 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the world. With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of IBA, this year’s winners and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the summer season.”

Keen adds, “IBA’s success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise.”

Mainstream & Independent Titles from Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Disney Hyperion, John Wiley & Sons, TarcherPerigee (Penguin Books USA), Rowman & Littlefield, Atria Books, Tor/Forge, Bear & Co./Inner Traditions, New American Library, Hachette Book Group and hundreds of national and international Independent Houses vied for the Top Honors. In this scenario I feel honored that my LGBTQ book placed as Finalist.

A little about my book:

Title: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories

Author: Fiza Pathan

Genre/category: Fiction LGBTQ 

Publishing House: Fiza Pathan Publishing OPC Private Limited

Imprint: Freedom With Pluralism®

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Awards received:

2018 Montaigne Medal Finalist (Eric Hoffer Book Award)
2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book – Notable Indie
2018 Independent Press Award – Distinguished favorite in LGBTQ Fiction
2018 San Francisco Book Festival – Winner in category Gay
2018 International Book Awards – Finalist in Fiction – LGBTQ

Trade reviews:

” . . . examines the diversity of global LGBTQ communities and their common challenges  . . .incredibly varied collection of 21 stories covers the gamut of LGBTQ issues and the hurdles individuals face. . . highlights the somewhat lesser-known topics of asexuality and intersex identities . . . tackles one of the most volatile topics for not just LGBTQ communities, but also the entire world . . . this volume’s exhaustive approach to elevating queer issues remains commendable.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“Each story in The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name resounds a call for the cultural acceptance of LGBTQ+ people . . . A tender and enlightening collection of stories focused on modern sexuality and related through a diverse cast of characters . . . Heartfelt and at times shocking, the stories in this collection shine a light on hate, prejudice, and whirlwind of emotions that LGBTQ+ people and their allies face . . . The book is careful with details and terminology, resulting in respectful and informative writing that helps drive each story and deliver appropriate impact. Many of the stories focus on intersex children and adults, and the confusion of the characters is tangible as they navigate love and sexuality in ambiguous terms. It is tragic to watch these characters, many of whom feel “born in the wrong body,” struggle with their shame and self-esteem, as well as with the nefarious forces of the outside world . . . These stories are not light. In addition to sexuality, they draw on themes of religion, friendship, family, justice, and self-worth. As the grandfather of one intersex child says, “I will say that equality exists beyond the boundaries of what is between someone’s legs.” The collection a testament to this statement. Another grief-stricken character laments, “My sister died in anonymity,” a silence that the collection works to reverse. Stories follow a thought-provoking arc, while each elicits empathy and sadness. Fictional newspaper articles echo the all-too-real horrors of homophobic bullying, rage, and murder, emphasizing that the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community should not be ignored.” ~Meredith Hardwicke for Foreword Clarion Reviews

THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME is, at its core, a series of loving arguments, making a case for the acceptance and support of people as human beings, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity. . . Each individual’s story, however, is their own, and in the end it’s the people whose relationships matter – the troubled nephew taken in by his drag queen uncle, the mother who chooses to have a living daughter instead of a dead son, the bookstore owner who connects deeply with a customer – and it is they who make the stories come alive.” ~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader

“Pathan’s stories are notable for their sympathetic characters and strong message of tolerance.”~BlueInk Review

“A sublime collection of short stories that tug at your heartstrings Fiza Pathan delivers an exquisite work of literature. . . . powerful and poignant.” ~BookViral

” . . .hopefully, it is books like these that will ultimately enable true recognition and acceptance of this much alienated and shunned community, and eventually enable them to get to a place where being LGBTQIA is regarded just as normal and ordinary as being heterosexual or anything else in the world today. This is a must-read book!” ~Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite

“Each story in this collection is cleverly constructed to force the reader to think about LGBTQ issues from a different perspective. The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name by Fiza Pathan is a powerful book that everyone should read, regardless of what community they identify with.” ~Authors Talk About It

The book is available in Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle version. It can also be read free of cost if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. Excerpts of the book can be read on Amazon.com

Full results are available at InternationalBookAwards.com

Hopefully my company’s website will be operational soon. Do check in to see and promote the website at https://fizapathanpublishing.ink

The INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD for The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories by Fiza Pathan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: fizapathan@fizapathanpublishing.com

 

Author Fiza Pathan receives national recognition through the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD®!

 

MumbaiThe INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD recognized The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories by Fiza Pathan as a Distinguished Favorite in the category of LGBTQ Fiction. This is the third award bestowed on the book the other two being 2018 Montaigne Medal Finalist (Eric Hoffer Book Award) and the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book – Notable Indie

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall excellence.

Title: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories

Author: Fiza Pathan

Genre/category: LGBTQ Fiction

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Synopsis:

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name by Fiza Pathan is a collection of twenty-one original short stories, each centered on some aspect of the social, cultural, psychological, and emotional issues facing the LGBTQIA community in the world today. False prejudice has blighted much of society’s sensitivity to what is necessarily a human rights issue. Ignorance has compounded it. What if you, as a parent or a family member, are faced with this “coming out” issue? Are you aware what each term in the acronym LGBTQIA really means? Are you aware of the emotional and psychological damage you do to a loved one when you fail to understand, and/or reject, their perspective of love, sex, and acceptance?

Understanding the implications of the above, the author after months of research has crafted these stories based on actual conditions existing in different countries of the world. You will meet Rocky in “(A)sexual Story,” the psychiatrist Dr. Timothy in “Fix It,” and Jasmine and Randy in “Human Work of Art.” You will learn about DSD–Dysfunction Sexual Disorder–in “Isher” and why Bangkok is called the “Kathoey Paradise.” You will shudder at the public repression of gays by ISIS in Raqqa, and learn about the dichotomy that exists in Iran. You will revel at the miracle you witness in “Topanga,” cry for Sameera in “The Girls’ Bathroom,” and be educated by “The Gay Truth.”

And in all these stories and many more, you will learn that every human being suffers like you do and rejoices as you do, and deserves the right to choose how he or she should live their life, however different we perceive them to be.

In 2018, we again had a most impressive worldwide participation: cities such as London to Moscow to San Francisco, and many countries such as Australia, Canada, India and Japan, and across the globe had books submitted to the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD. We are so delighted to announce the winners and distinguished favorites in our annual 2018 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD. Independent publishing is very much alive, and continues to flourish worldwide.” said awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak.

For more information please visit independentpressaward.com and to see this year’s list of Winners and Distinguished Favorites, please visit the website pages

http://www.independentpressaward.com/2018winners and http://www.independentpressaward.com/2018distinguishedfavorites

 

My Friends on the Other Side (Umberto Eco & Harper Lee): by Fiza Pathan

I felt I just had to share my post of February 21, 2016. It is as relevant today as it was then.

insaneowl

51gzmhkPBxL._UX250_I’m not here to talk about how Harper Lee and Umberto Eco left this world.

I’m not here to write their eulogies on insaneowl.com.

I’m not here to describe their body of work or how popular they were.

I’m here to send a message to my readers that we mourn Harper Lee and Umberto Eco because we knew them; they were popular. But out there in the world, there are many writers whose deaths don’t concern us, which they should.

For when an ordinary person who does not write dies, one life in the family of humanity is lost.

When a writer dies, many different kinds of people, places, worlds, universes, thoughts etc., die with him/her. In short, a part of humanity itself is lost.

I was an introvert at school and no one wanted to be my friend. I grew reclusive even in the midst of school chaos and…

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Say It Outloud

I am grateful to Dr. Gabriel Constans for his insightful and thought-provoking review of my book ‘The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Short Stories’. I am reblogging the same for the benefit of my followers.

Gabriel Constans

51TNQTUdZkLThe Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name – Short Stories by Fiza Pathan. Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

Confession time. When I saw that this collection of short stories was over 450 pages long, I planned to skim over them and write a brief overview. After reading the first one, The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, I was hooked and ended up reading each story from start to finish. They are all excellent, different and well written. They take place in different countries (India, Canada, United States, Iran, Syria, un-named South American country, Thailand, and the United Kingdom). What they all have in common is the portrayal of someone who is not part of the stereotyped heterosexual majority.

Each person must deal with the prejudice, religious intolerance, and/or ignorance, of their family, community, friends, culture, and/or government. Oscar Wilde quotes are also part of many of…

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