Beyond The Stars And Other Stories- Qurratulain Hyder


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Written while she was still in her late teens, Beyond the Stars (Sitaron se Aage) was Qurratulain Hyder’s earliest published anthology of stories, now available in English for the first time.

The 14 stories presented here offer a rare glimpse into the workings of a young writer’s imagination as she explores literary devices and techniques, and experiments with stream-of-consciousness, interior monologue, and multivocal narration. She can be playful and sardonic, deeply reflective or wistful, but never predictable. Her protagonists, a group of young college-going men and women in pre-Independence Lucknow, Mussoorie and Dehradun, know that enormous changes are imminent in their privileged lives, as WW II draws to a close and freedom from the British draws near. Hyder captures both the innocence and the piquancy of their situation in prose that was far ahead of its time. Beyond the Stars is steeped in modernity and stunningly original.


Fatima Rizvi is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Modern European Languages at the University of Lucknow. Her areas of interest include post-colonial literature and literature in translation and adaptation, with a specialisation in Urdu literature in translation. She was awarded the Meenakshi Mukherjee Memorial Prize by IACLALS in 2018 and the Jawad Memorial Prize for Urdu-English translation in 2019.


Qurratulain Hyder is a leading writer in Urdu fiction in India. A prose stylist of rare accomplishment, she wrote in both Urdu and English, and her books have been translated into all Indian languages. She was awarded the Bharatiya Jnanpith, India’s highest literary award, in 1989. The recipient of a number of other literary awards, she is a Fellow of the Sahitya Akademi, travelled widely and worked as a journalist and broadcaster. Her novel River of Fire (Women Unlimited, 2003), translated by the author from the original Urdu Aag ka Dariya, has achieved epic status in fiction about the subcontinent. My Temples, Too, also translated by Hyder from the original Mere Bhi Sanamkhane, has been published by Women Unlimited in 2004; and Fireflies in the Mist, was translated from the original Akhir-e-Shab ke Humsafar, by Aamer Hussain was published by Women Unlimited in 2008. Her latest title, published by Women Unlimited in 2009, is a collection of short stories, Street Singers of Lucknow and Other Stories, translated by Hyder herself.


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