“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” (Professor Mihaela Ursa, Ph.D.).