New Urdu Writings from India & Pakistan – Edited by Rakhshanda Jalil


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As the editor of this collection, Rakhshanda Jalil makes it amply clear in the Introduction – “It will make very little difference if you read this book from back to front or the other, more conventional way, around”—and puts the 30 stories from India and Pakistan in the context of a shared language involving similar emotions.

If in the “Mourner of the Feet”, an itinerant shoe witnesses an adulterous wife with merciless hips conducting her marital life, in “Revulsion” a young boy chances upon the sexual escapades of an ageing maid with young servant boys, almost mirroring the desperation of the household ; in Joginder Paul’s story, the futility of war between countries throws up a tragic-comic situation involving the picture of a girl child, even as a father awaiting his son’s arrival on an airplane fervently prays for his co-travellers in Mansha Yad’s story; Laila in Jeelani Bano’s “Empty Bottles” is urban affluent and decidedly rejects her poetic lover for the comforts in her parents’ home and Sonu in Tarannum Riyaz’s “City” struggles to care for his infant sister and a dead mother in their fortified and spacious flat; Farzana blames her burqa for her transgression involving the murder of her children while Noor Bano is forcibly married to the Holy Quran and defiantly pronounces the Book as the father of her unborn child.

New Urdu Writings: From India & Pakistan showcases the wonderful literary journey in a language which transcends geographical boundaries to unravel the quintessential silvers of human emotions.

About the Author

Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, critic and literary historian. Her published work comprises edited anthologies, among them a selection of Pakistani women writers entitled, Neither Night Nor Day; and a collection of esssays on Delhi, Invisible City: she is co-author of Partners in Freedom: Jamia Millia Islamia and Journey to a Holy Land: A Pilgrim s Diary. She is also a well-known translator, with eight published translations of Premchand, Asghar Wajahat, Saadat Hasan Manto, Shahryar, Intezar Hussain and Phanishwarnath Renu.


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