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by Sonia Isard

Bukharan Murder Mystery

A mother’s conviction

Toward the beginning of Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial (Yale University Press, $25), Janet Malcolm writes, “We go through life mishearing and mis-seeing and misunderstanding so that the stories we tell ourselves will add up. Trial lawyers push this human tendency to a higher level. They are playing for higher stakes than we are playing for when we tinker with actuality in order to transform the tale told by an idiot into an orderly, selfserving narrative.” The tragic costs of an all-encompassing desire for a coherency comprise the core of this gripping and relentless courtroom drama.

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