Literary Nonfiction. Middle Eastern Studies. Memoir. FASTING FOR RAMADAN is structured as a chronicle of daily meditations, during two cycles of the 30-day rite of daytime abstinence required by Ramadan for purgation and prayer. Estranged in certain ways from his family's cultural traditions when he was younger, Ali has in recent years re-embraced the Ramadan ritual, and brings to this rediscovery an extraordinary delicacy of reflection, a powerfully inquiring mind, and the linguistic precision and ardor of a superb poet. Kazim Ali's searching descriptions of the Ramadan sensibility and its arduous but liberating annual rite of communal fasting is sure to be a revelation to many readers—intellectually illuminating and aesthetically exhilarating."[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
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Kazim Ali writes in, across, through, and against multiple genres, including poetry, essay, memoir, fiction, journalism, translation, and the genre-queer. A former yoga teacher, lobbyist, and grass roots organizer, he currently lives in the traditional lands of the Kumeyaay people, where he chairs the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.