Author: Khadija Mastur
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195790537
Translated from Urdu, this selection commences with stories that reflect Khadija Mastur's interest in socio-political issues of her time, especially as they relate to Partition, its aftermath and its ramifications for the newly founded state of Pakistan.
The stories in this collection inform and enrich. Whether it is Razia with her struggle to achieve the perfect love, or Fazlu, the youngman who cannot conceive of divisiveness among the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in his village; whether it is Chunni Begum who will eat only that which has earned herself, or Nazim who predicts a dark future for a country which allows its government to declare martial law - Mastur's characters never fail to sustain our interest and engage our emotions.
Khadija Mastur's work, marked by an uncompromising realism, reveals a deep concern for the lives of ordinary people, especially women left behind in their society's scramble for modernization. She explores, with uncommon probity and insight, the political undercurrents that have shaped Pakistan's turbulent history, and examines with compassion and understanding, the issue of minorities, a subject rarely touched upon in Urdu fiction.
Tahira Naqvi, who teaches English, has translated the works of Saadat Hasan Manto, Munshi Premchand, Hijab Ali, Ahmed Ali, and most recently, Ismat Chugtai. She also writes fiction. Attar of Roses and Other Stories of Pakistan her first collection of short stories, was published in 1998 by Lynne Reinner Publishers, and Amreeka, Amreeka, her second collection, will appear in 1999.
Muhammad Uimar Memon is Professor in the Department of Languages and Culture of Asia at the University of Wisconsin. He is also a creative writer and critic and has translated widely from Urdu fiction, of which six volumes have appeared to date.