Twentieth-century liberalism lives on in forms of the social contract that are outmoded for the twenty-first century’s globalized, technological world. Liberalism today is entirely reactive, fending off attempts by conservatism to erode the social contract as it has been known to operate in the Western democracies since around the end of World War II. Neither conservatives nor liberals have a true vision for the future, although conservatives give the impression of being more visionary than liberals, since they at least have an active agenda they’re pursuing. In this vacuum of ideology, there’s great danger for neofascist movements to step in, as always happens when liberalism is on the run. Standing still is not a possibility, in a globalized world where individual economies are simply changing too rapidly and information is spreading too widely.
Anis Shivani is a fiction writer, poet, and critic, based in Houston, Texas.
He is the author of the short story collection, Anatolia and Other Stories, published by Black Lawrence Press. Booklist describes the collection as “extraordinary” and “caustically funny.” The collection was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award and one of the stories–”Dubai”–was awarded Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize.
A second short story collection, The Fifth Lash, will be published by C&R Press in early 2012.
His debut poetry book, My Tranquil War and Other Poems, is forthcoming (New York Quarterly Books, May 2012).
Anis is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and often reviews fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for newspapers and magazines. A collection of his reviews and essays over the last decade, Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies, was published in November 2011 by Texas Review Press/Texas A&M Press Consortium. The book includes a 2012 Pushcart Prize-winning essay on creative writing programs.
His work appears in Southwest Review, Boston Review, Georgia Review, Threepenny Review, Iowa Review, Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Colorado Review, Boulevard, Pleiades, Harvard Review, North American Review, TLS, Stand, London Magazine, Antigonish Review, Meanjin, and other journals.
He has just finished a novel called Karachi Raj about an American anthropologist conducting fieldwork in South Asia. Next up is a novel set in Mussolini’s Italy.
Anis has an B.A. in economics from Harvard College (1992).