Author: Intizar Husain
Translator(s): Moazzam Sheikh
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8187649879
It is a formidable task to introduce and discuss Intizar Husain’s Fiction. Or, even to scale the depth and expanse of his body of work created in the last fifty years.
Husain Saheb was born in 1925 in Dibai, a small town of Uttar Pradesh, India. After Partition, like countless others, he migrated to Pakistan in late 1947 and settled in Lahore.
He is well-known in India and his stories are often published here in the Urdu literary magazines and translated into other Indian languages.
The most important literary influence on Husain has been the Buddha, whom he considers far more important storyteller than the European masters of modern fiction. Husain wanted to draw on what he called the earliest examples of short stores-the tales of the Buddha-and he has identified the great discontinuity in the Indian tradition of story telling, such as the art of Katha, Kahani and Qissa, with the arrival of the British and their literature.
For this collection, in addition to Husain’s stories written in the style of the Arabian Nights, King Arthur’s Tales, and Puranic lores, he has also included stories which would complement each other through repetition and visual and thematic circularity. The polarity of ancient and modern in essential to Husain’s work. It is the search for the Self.
Some of his shorter works included here present the writer in his totality. In Husain’s works there often is a hidden gem that can go unnoticed. Kela is one such story. It is so deceptively simple that, if not careful, one is bound to miss the intricacy of the Hindu-Muslim design in the pre-Partition fabric of India
Aa! I left my own corpse back there! Spine-chilling! That’s Intizar husain for you. One of the finest living writers in Urdu escorts you along the sinuous bylanes of Hindustan and the glitzy Pakistani shops in Anarkali Bazaar, along runaway clouds and forbidden domains. An Uncertain but promising journey, a mind-blowing experience.
MOAZZAM SHEIKH was born in Lahore. He moved to the United States in 1985 where he studied Film. He now writes fiction in English. His work has appeared in A Dragonfly in the Sun: 50 years of Pakistani Writing in English. He has written one novel, Saheb and has recently edited, A Letter from India: Contemporary Short Stories from Pakistan.
Away from the Camp
A Letter from India
The Dead Ash
She Will Come Again
The Account of a Senseless Upheaval