Nora N. Khan

Lions and Churches.

My most recent story, Gunn, is up at the American Literary Review, the fiction, poetry and non-fiction journal of the University of North Texas. Do noodle about and read it here.

This story went through two phases of workshop with Jonathan Ames and Elizabeth McCracken. Thanks so much to my peers for saving it from barreling in a much more ridiculous direction (a dream about the love of a woman for a lion). Instead, the story is about African Traditional Churches, lion conservatories, Tanzania, and the tension between science and religion. Everything in this story is fictional but loosely based on research.

Generally, I am fascinated by how we experience the spiritual in the secular world – whether through music, art, dance…William James wrote a lot about faith being a matter of “shared belief”; faith is how we experience a thing greater than ourselves, together in a group. I want to explore how we agree to believe in an idea, place, or state, with other people, in order to feel less alone.

This story was a runner-up in the journal’s 2010 Fiction contest, judged by Donald Hays, who wrote some very nice things about it. I am very grateful to be featured on their site and to have been chosen as a finalist.