Friday, February 5, 2010

L'esprit de l'Escalier, by Moazzam Sheikh

The seed of the story was born when I came across the French expression while talking about literature. I wanted to write about feelings of regret and missed opportunity. As I started writing with the two main characters in mind, memories from my personal life tried to influence the story. I took the essence of some of those memories and changed them around--such as my parents' failed married life in Pakistan throughout my childhood and teenage years. Another dimension of the story that silently crept in dealt with my personal discomfort and initial loneliness in America.

I was born in Lahore in 1961 and moved to the States in 1985. My parents were in the film industry and I grew up in that milieu. Political and economic awareness were also a strong part of my personality. I studied commerce, film, and finally went to library school. I am currently a librarian at San Francisco Public Library. Other than writing my own fiction, I feel very strongly interested in translating between Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and English.

Moazzam Sheikh is also the author of a book of short stories entitled The Idol Lover, published by Ithuriel's Spear in San Francisco, and available at


  1. We are proud to say "we knew you WHEN" your name and face were not as recognizable here and abroad. Congrats on what your writing has done to make this cold and confusing world a bit warmer and more enlightened!

    Carole and Johnna Bossuot

  2. You may've been born in 1961, but I've known you at least since 1947. Perhaps since as early as the 8th century CE.