Kimberly Phinney (Editor and Poet)
Blurb of Now She Dreams of War and Other Stories from Transylvania (Exp. 2023)

Zaher Alajlani’s short stories are both haunting and exalting. In one breath, he dashes you to an existential dread, and in another, he sings with you about the fleeting beauties of life: the passion of young love, a long drink of good wine, and realization of unfettered dreams. Zaher’s take on modern Gothicism is a voice all his own, and the tales he spins have a way of staying with you long after you’ve read them. I highly recommend his latest tales.

Prof. Mihaela Ursa (Ph.D.)
Blurb of On the Bank of Someșul Mic and Other Stories (2022)

Zaher Alajlani's stories beautifully counterbalance realist prose writing with the darkness and violence of fantasy outbursts. Present-day places and events (Romanian everyday life, the COVID pandemic) become a background for social and moral debates, but mostly the receptacle where difference, irregularity, and monstrosity activate. On the Bank of Someșul Mic and Other Stories includes tales that are very often ignited by a main character watching things from a safe and rational distance, only to plunge headfirst into a parallel reality: dream, hallucination, nightmares, or possible time loops. Tradition, routine, customs, and habits are thoroughly interrogated in a skeptical light, which makes a most unlikely and surprising pair with magic and the irrational in these noir narratives. Alajlani's stories are not to be missed.

Prof. Laura T. Ilea (Ph.D.)
From the foreword of the revised edition of In Death Veritas and Other Stories (2014/2023)

Like an unleashed creator that cannot protect his creation from his own blasphemous imprecation, Zaher Alajlani explores, with a dark pathos, worlds that exist at the border of psychic derangement and the need of ablution, worlds that could lead him to finally find an exit. The volume In Death Veritas seems to belong to an author who, for the time being, cannot find his peace in words and who keeps exploring the temptation of madness, hoping that the world he creates will eventually coagulate through a redemptive act.

Dr. Riad Ismat, Ph.D. (1947-2020)
Blurb of Vera and Other Stories (2015)

Zaher Alajlani is a compelling, new voice in the short-story realm. A devotee of realism, Alajlani reminds readers at almost every turn that the genre is not dead, nor is it the least bit dated. Alajlani takes his inspiration from such muses as Somerset Maugham, Italo Calvino and Saki- among other, great short-story icons of the 20th century. Though he is Syrian by birth, Alajlani’s tales deftly conjure-up the ambiance of Athens and Moscow in a powerfully-appealing, ever-natural tapestry. He is especially capable of depicting 'underdog' characters—those largely barren souls clawing desperately to survive fetid urban jungles or squalid psychiatric asylums- with a beauteous compassion. The smallest of incidents are enough to motivate him to plunge deeply into human nature. His riveting characters, torn by desire, distress and despair, find salvation only through true love. They subjugate lustful instincts in favor of the spiritual, regardless of morals and social class. Alajlani portrays everyday existence in a relentless subdued style, avoiding whatever urges he may harbor to summon-up artistic conventions- those dramatic and imaginative story-telling techniques. Readers will find the method intriguing or disappointing. This is of no concern to Alajlani whose unswerving fealty is to a truth absent all embellishment.