Midnight Doorways: Fables from Pakistan

KITAB. Feb. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9789696160588. $25. HORROR
DEBUT Malik, a dual citizen of Pakistan and the U.S., was a name found most frequently in the table of contents of Ellen Datlow’s award-winning anthologies. Now readers can savor seven of his stories collected into one beautiful volume, accompanied by original illustrations by Pakistani artists. While these thought-provoking tales range from slightly askew to unsettling to all-out-frightening, all are imbued with a dark magic that captivates as they unsettle. Whether readers are introduced to a city that appears out of nowhere and the very real consequences of its arrival, a haunted orphanage filled with bird cages, or a mystical story about finding peace for the victims of terrorism, these character-centered tales with engaging narrators provide an eerie and entertaining window to a whole new world of horror.
VERDICT This collection by a rising star in horror harkens back to classic anthologies by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe or Arthur Conan Doyle, but with a voice that represents the rich storytelling traditions of Pakistan. For fans of dark fantasy and horror. Pair with other works exploring universal fears framed and informed by the author’s identity such as those by Stephen Graham Jones, S. A. Chakraborty, and Marlon James.
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