THE BLACK-MARKETER’S DAUGHTER
Category: Contemporary / Literary Fiction / Multicultural
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Date of Publication: October 13, 2020
Number of Pages: 166 pages
Zuleikha arrives in the US from Lahore, Pakistan, by marriage, having trained as a pianist without ever owning a real piano. Now she finally has one-a wedding present from her husband-but nevertheless finds it difficult to get used to her new role of a suburban middle-class housewife who has an abundance of time to play it.
Haunted by the imaginary worlds of the confiscated contraband books and movies that her father trafficked in to pay for her education and her dowry, and unable to reconcile them with the expectations of the real world of her present, she ends up as the central figure in a scandal that catapults her into the public eye and plays out in equal measures in the local news and in backroom deliberations, all fueled by winds of anti-Muslim hysteria.
The Black-Marketer’s Daughter was a finalist for the Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize, and praised by the jury as a “complicated and compelling story” of our times, with two key cornerstones of the novel being the unsympathetic voice with which Mallick, almost objectively, relays catastrophic and deeply emotional events, and the unsparing eye with which he illuminates the different angles and conflicting interests at work in a complex situation. The cumulative effects, while deliberately unsettling to readers, nevertheless keeps them glued to the pages out of sheer curiosity about what will happen next.
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PRAISE FOR THE BLACK-MARKETER’S DAUGHTER
“Mallick offers an impressively realistic depiction of a woman caught between tradition, family, and her own sense of empowerment.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“The Black-Marketer’s Daughter is a key-hole look at a few things: a mismatched marriage, the plight of immigrants in the U.S., the emotional toll of culture shock, and the brutal way Muslim women are treated, especially by men within their own community. Titling it—defining the heroine by her relationship to a man rather than as a woman in her own right—suggests how deeply ingrained that inequality can be.” ~ IndieReader Reviews
“The Black-Marketer’s Daughter is the portrait of a woman who endures violence, intimidation, xenophobia and grief, and yet refuses to be called a victim. In this slender novel, Suman Mallick deftly navigates the funhouse maze of immigrant life in contemporary America—around each corner the possibility of a delight, a terror, or a distorted reflection of oneself.” ~ Matthew Valentine, Winner, Montana Prize for Fiction; Lecturer, University of Texas at Austin
Reading this book was a terrific way to gain insight and understanding of Muslim culture and traditions, and I really appreciated the opportunity to be immersed in a different way of life. I like this kind of story that helps broaden my worldview. It’s so important for us to understand each other and not just accept the stereotypes of people and cultures too often presented in news or on social media.
Suman Mallick received his MFA from Portland State University and is the assistant managing editor of the quarterly literary magazine Under the Gum Tree. He lives in Texas.
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|1/6/21||Promo||Hall Ways Blog|
|1/7/21||Review||The Clueless Gent|
|1/7/21||Guest Post||Momma on the Rocks|
|1/8/21||Author Interview||All the Ups and Downs|
|1/10/21||Excerpt||Texas Book Lover|
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