Another new book, a collection of Urdu short stories, edited by me. Called NEW URDU WRITINGS: FROM INDIA AND PAKISTAN, it has 30 stories reflecting the best of contemporary Urdu fiction. Published by Westland, it will be formally launched in November. Meanwhile, it is available on Flipkart and other online stores as well as major bookstores in India. Here is a link:
This could easily be for audiences who read in both languages: Hindi and English. Further with Sufism coming up on the charts in music and films, this anthology could well become a favorite with those who are passionate about the sensibilities in the subcontinent: India, Pakistan and even Bangladesh. The sense of a great literary tradition and emotions which are similar. 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 Pauls 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 sons arrival on an airplane fervently prays for his co-travellers in Mansha Yads story; Laila in Jeelani Banos Empty Bottles is urban affluent and decidedly rejects her poetic lover for the comforts in her parents home and Sonu in Tarannum Riyazs 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.