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Nook & Cranny Books

Under the Sky Beneath the Moon (Stories) by Mozhgan Mahjoob

Under the Sky Beneath the Moon (Stories) by Mozhgan Mahjoob

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Darya, an educated young woman in Kabul, navigates her way through the male-dominated demands of work in a corporate sales office when her comfort and confidence are shattered by a series of encounters with strangers—not all of them human. Drawing on Afghan vernacular tales of spirits and hauntings, Mozhgan Mahjoob gives us a realistic account of life in present-day Afghanistan by showing how the natural has become the supernatural, and how the forces that frame and constrict the lives of women partake of powers human and extra-human. It is a world of miracles, blessings as well as curses, that can live inside a painting or haunt a hotel room, or simply come walking up to meet us and speak through the mouth of an orphan child or a mother whose daughter was kidnapped and killed. 

These sixteen linked stories take readers deep into the labyrinth of a richly spiritual, harshly punitive culture that sequesters and hides the feminine spirit that it also reveres. Darya's struggles as a professional woman, many of whose friends and neighbors suffer terrible poverty and want, reveal an ancient culture in the throes of modernity, a place where the deepest fault lines of Western imperialism and global capitalism have split wide open on meeting the intractable rock of a thousands-of-years-old Afghan culture.

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