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The Black Magic Women (Stories from North-east India)

The Black Magic Women (Stories from North-east India)

Moushumi Kandali
,
Parbina Rashid
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In the recent past, many writers have acquainted readers with the composite culture of Assam. Moushumi Kandali makes a similar attempt in The Black Magic Women, but with a stark difference. She brings her characters out of Assam and places them in the mainstream, capturing their struggle to retain their inherent ‘Assameseness’ as they try to assimilate into the larger society.
The stories makes one pause, think and debate issues that range from racial discrimination (‘The Fireflies Outside of the Frame’) to sexual harassment (‘The Hyenas and Coach Number One’, ‘Kalindi, Your Black Waters . . . ‘) to the existential and ideological dilemma induced by the state’s complex sociopolitical scenario (‘The Final Leap of the Salmon’). The title story is revealing of how mainstream India perceives Assamese women-as powered with the art of seduction and black magic-as a result of which they face social discrimination that can range from racial slurs to physical abuse.
The writer ventures into a surrealistic mode, using a generous sprinkle of fable, myth and metaphors to deliver a powerful punch. With all the shades of emotion these ten stories from the North-east evoke, the reader cannot remain a passive observer.

Imprint: Vintage Books

Published: Mar/2022

ISBN: 9780143451105

Length : 200 Pages

MRP : ₹299.00

The Black Magic Women (Stories from North-east India)

Moushumi Kandali
,
Parbina Rashid

In the recent past, many writers have acquainted readers with the composite culture of Assam. Moushumi Kandali makes a similar attempt in The Black Magic Women, but with a stark difference. She brings her characters out of Assam and places them in the mainstream, capturing their struggle to retain their inherent ‘Assameseness’ as they try to assimilate into the larger society.
The stories makes one pause, think and debate issues that range from racial discrimination (‘The Fireflies Outside of the Frame’) to sexual harassment (‘The Hyenas and Coach Number One’, ‘Kalindi, Your Black Waters . . . ‘) to the existential and ideological dilemma induced by the state’s complex sociopolitical scenario (‘The Final Leap of the Salmon’). The title story is revealing of how mainstream India perceives Assamese women-as powered with the art of seduction and black magic-as a result of which they face social discrimination that can range from racial slurs to physical abuse.
The writer ventures into a surrealistic mode, using a generous sprinkle of fable, myth and metaphors to deliver a powerful punch. With all the shades of emotion these ten stories from the North-east evoke, the reader cannot remain a passive observer.

Select Preferred Format

Moushumi Kandali

Moushumi Kandali is a bilingual short story writer, art historian and translator. Her stories have been published in several national and international literary magazines and edited anthologies such as 'Oxford anthology of North East Writing', 'Penguin anthology of fifteen classic Assamese short stories', 'The Greatest Assamese Stories Ever Told' published by Aleph Book Company and many others. She has received several prestigious awards for her creative writing.

Parbina Rashid is a senior journalist with the Tribune, Chandigarh. She has translated a number of books from Assamese to English, namely, Painting of the Sky and Other Stories, Ballad of Kaziranga, If a River and Echoes from the Valley. Her latest translated story has been included in an anthology titled The Greatest Assamese Stories Ever Told, and also been published by Little Magazine, The Sentinel and Nezine.com. She has been associated with Sahitya Akademi, Delhi, in the capacity of a translator and book editor. She hails from Guwahati and is currently based in Chandigarh.

Parbina Rashid