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ISBN: 9780349018232
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Virago (ADS)
Origin: GB
Release Date: May, 2024

Book Details

The thirteen dazzling stories in this collection reveal starkly different facets of the city, from its streets full of “bustling pedestrians, evangelizing preachers, bus drivers yelling for passengers” to its markets, polished offices, humble family homes, gated estates, and haunted houses. Against these varied backdrops, in stories grounded in the terrestrial world but well traversed by ghosts and spirits, characters vie for freedom from ancestral ties to family & community, from which it sometimes seems there can be no escape. In “Manifest,” a young woman’s mother begins to see the ghost of her own abusive mother in her daughter’s face. Shortly after, the young woman is overtaken by increasingly wicked and destructive impulses. This spooky tale of possession invites us to question the extent to which we control our own destiny & how evil is perpetuated down the generations. In “Breastmilk,” a wife forgives her husband for his infidelity. When, months later she is unable to produce milk for her newborn she blames herself for failing to uphold her own mother’s feminist values & doubts her own fitness for motherhood. In “The Hollow,” a junior architect shows up to take the measurements of a house her firm will be renovating; but the house, with its logic-defying layout and walls that seem to shift, gets the best of her. When the owner divulges the troubled history of the family who lived there, the architect is flooded with her own suppressed memories. These and other stories in Ghostroots dramatize the tension between our yearning to be individuals and the ways we are haunted by what came before.