Translated from the original Urdu by Tahira Naqvi
Rs 350 Pb 2003
(US rights sold. All others available.)
magnum opus is one of the most important novels
of the subcontinent. The narrative draws heavily
on the author’s own experiences and revolves
around the life of Shaman, born as the tenth and
youngest child in a middle-class Muslim family
where traditional mores and cultural constraints
maintain an oppressive hold on the lives and behaviour
of all its members. The Novel exposes the social
cultural conflicts and the psychosexual determinants
that govern the development of female consciousness.
…with the aplomb
of a great cook, Ismat Chughtai seizes fistfuls
of story, people, plot, fantasy, prophecy, and
pattern of rhythm and tosses them into a bubbling
—Indian Review of Books
What makes Chughtai special is that
nowhere does her art seem to have a palpable design
on us. She is a feminist, an iconoclast, an atheist
yet how perfectly she knows not to offend.
is the author of several collections of
short stories, three novellas, a collection of
reminiscences and essays, My Friend, My Enemy,
and a memoir, Kaghazi Hai Perahan
(The Paper-thin Garment).
She co-produced and co-directed six films, and produced a further six independently.
is a translator,
writer and Urdu language lecturer in the
Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic
Studies at New York University. She has translated
the works of Sa'dat Hasan Manto, Munshi Premchand,
Khadija Mastoor and Ismat Chughtai into English.