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His work has been featured in numerous magazines including: The New Republic, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Travel and Leisure, Partisan Review, The Paris Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Art Forum, Harper’s Bazaar, The Nation, and regularly on The Daily Beast. A professor of English at William Paterson University, he earned his Ph D at Columbia University, and lives in New York City.

A Guggenheim fellow in Biography, he has received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and a Furthermore grant in publishing from the J.

I could already see clumps of men depositing their scuffed shoes outside the Umayyad Mosque, its stately courtyard with old square brick minaret, tilted slightly to the right, visible through a pointed archway admitting a shaft of warm sunlight.

It was nearly the beginning of springtime, March 18, 2011, and by day’s end, unanticipated by me, as well as a surprise to most of the world, a Syrian civil uprising would erupt that within a few years would destroy much of this medieval bazaar and the historic mosque thriving nearby.

(Simon & Schuster, 1999; A Book-Of-The-Month Club Quality Paperback selection.; chosen for “Top 10 Gay Studies Books of 1999.”; Fireside paperback, 2002) Fiction: Zombie00 (Overlook Press, 2000; paperback 2001, Overlook Press.) The Golden Age of Promiscuity. Knopf, Publishers, 1996; Masquerade paperback, 1997.) Scary Kisses. Pocket Books, USA paperback; Pan, Great Britain; Olivier, Orban, France, 1990; Fischer, Germany, 1992; reprint Overlook Press.

September 3, 1994.) Poems, Stories, Articles, and Reviews in magazines including: The Paris Review, Partisan Review, The Nation, The Oxford Literary Review, Columbia Review, American Poetry Review, Rohwohlt: Literatur Magazine, Bomb, Vanity Fair, GQ, HG, Elle, Manhattan, Inc, British Vogue, New York Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Elle Decor, The Advocate, Out (as Contributing Writer), Travel and Leisure, Talk, Art Forum, W.

I stood at dusk on the bare, rocky rise of Mount Qasiyun, overlooking Damascus—for the mature Rumi, I was struck by similarities between his own violent and tumultuous times and our own.

I also realized that all the dots of his life might never be connected, some secrets remaining intact.

Taking advantage of this pause in all the jostling, I pulled out a little notebook and began drawing a map, trying to figure out the architecture extant from the thirteenth century, when the young Rumi had been a student in this thrumming Arabic trading town.

He has been compared to Shakespeare for his outpouring of creativity and to Saint Francis of Assisi for his spiritual wisdom.

Yet his life has long remained the stuff of legend rather than intimate knowledge.

Ambitious, bold, and beautifully written, ONE Friday morning, I wandered, nearly alone, through the Grand Bazaar, in Aleppo, Syria.

Most of the shops in the usually frenetic indoor market—a warren of dank crosshatching passageways, lined by fluorescent-lit counters piled high with figs, pistachios, djellabas, even toy trucks and cleaning products—were closing for noonday services.

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