Coffee with Chicory Arshud Mahmood

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Kindle Edition

318 pages


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Coffee with Chicory  by  Arshud Mahmood

Coffee with Chicory by Arshud Mahmood
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 318 pages | ISBN: | 3.29 Mb

SynopsisThe short story collection Coffee with Chicory has 23 stories divided into three sections. Section I is comprised of 13 stories that span the cultural crossroads of Pakistan in which Arshud Mahmood grew up, moving from one border town nearMoreSynopsisThe short story collection Coffee with Chicory has 23 stories divided into three sections.

Section I is comprised of 13 stories that span the cultural crossroads of Pakistan in which Arshud Mahmood grew up, moving from one border town near India to another one near Afghanistan. Section II has 8 stories set in America, describing the immigrant experience. The third section has two offerings exploring different storytelling techniques.Section I deals with the worlds of childhood and youth.

The first three stories are set near the Pakistan-India border in a culture where remnants of Mogul civilization are overlain with British colonial influence, and describe the idyllic, simple world of a child growing up in harmonious surroundings where Hindus and Muslims live and work in peace and order. The fourth story, Gurkha, leads the reader into the chaos that followed the partition of India as the fabric of society became frayed.

The family’s desire to move away from the contentious and bloody border results in a move to Quetta near what was then quiet border, between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here, life as a teenager and a young man becomes the setting for seven stories. Section I includes the story, Taliban at the Door, which along with Blood Money, presents the cultural mélange that was Quetta, a town where six or seven regional languages could be heard in any tea house.

Another story in this group, Hanna Lake, hints at the political and nationalistic tensions simmering under the surface of a placid civil society. The last story in this section, Driver Class, comments on recent cultural changes in Pakistan.The 8 stories in Section II are set in America, and describe the immigrant experience at workplace and at leisure.

The section begins with the title story, Coffee with Chicory, which is set on a workboat off Louisiana coast, and we are introduced to a crew of roughnecks and drillers. The offshore theme continues through the next three stories, and takes the reader to Gulf of Alaska in stories like Kodiak and The Fishing Life. The fifth story, Forty ant Sea, completes the circle and we are back in the Gulf of Mexico, learning that life experiences teach us more wisdom than books. The remaining three stories present three snapshots of the immigrant experience. The last story in Section II, The Visible Moon, is a sketch of how important moon sighting is to deciding dates of festivals.Both stories in the last section take the storytelling further.

The first, The Moorish Arabesque, goes beyond personal experience, and weaves a tale of mystery set in the Alhambra Palace in Granada. The last story in the book, Flyboy, is an exercise in narration without a first person voice, and takes the reader through the life of an immigrant boy as he turns into a young man.



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