The Dancer by Bashir Sakhawarz #DealMeIn2018

My Deal Me In deck turned up a heart again this week. I had such good luck last week at East of the Web, I went there again. The daily story was “The Overcoat” by Gogol, but I already know that story, so I picked another one at random.


Just wow.

I chose:

The Dancer
by Bashir Sakhawarz

The first section begins, “He knows,” then paints a breathtaking portrait of a young boy dancing. We see flashes of his grimly impoverished childhood, his adoption as a beloved sex toy by a powerful man, his joy at being loved and pampered, admired and wanted.

The last section begins, “He doesn’t know,” then paints a painful portrait of a young man brutally ejected from his paradise because his age makes him no longer desirable.

The final paragraph brings us back to the deliriously happy dancing boy.

It’s a brilliant story. In four short pages, we get the psychology of two strong characters, learn something of a culture that I, at least, no little of, and explore the life and soul of the protagonist. Highly recommended!


Bashir Sakhawarz is an award-winning poet and novelist. His first poetry collection in 1978 won the first prize for New Poetry from the Afghan Writers’ Association. Sakhawarz has published seven books in Persian and English. His latest novel, Maargir, The Snake Charmer was entered for the Man Asian Literary Prize by the publisher and was long-listed for India’s 2013 Economist Crossword Book Award. Other work has been published in: Proceeding of the Ninth Conference of the European Society for Central Asia, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010, Images of Afghanistan, Oxford University Press, 2010, and Language for a New Century, W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. Bashir Sakhawarz is originally from Afghanistan and has lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. He worked for a number of international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Asian Development Bank, The International Red Cross and NGOS.

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a reversal of fortune.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Dancer by Bashir Sakhawarz #DealMeIn2018

  1. Jay

    November 6, 2018 at 10:04am

    I love it when my short story readings lead me to discover a new author who becomes a favorite, or when they unexpectedly blow me away. I will have to check this one out. 🙂

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 6, 2018 at 10:15am

      I have you to thank, Jay! I would never have read this author/story were it not for Deal Me In. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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