In this selection of stories from one of Urdu’s best and boldest feminist writers, we move through the chawls, havelis, mosques and villages of India, meeting characters from all classes of society.
Here there are the want, resignation and ambition of the poor, the arrogance of the rich, the pain of women still tied to traditional notions of subservience to men, and the bankruptcy of a declining feudal world.
Chughtai brilliantly exposes the hypocrisies of a society with a progressive façade that is still caught in the binds of conservative opinion and traditional mores and values.
Translated from the Urdu by Tahira Naqvi.
Ismat Chughtai is the author of several collections of short stories, three novellas, a novel, The Crooked Line, a collection of reminiscences and essays, My Friend, My Enemy, and a memoir, Kaghazi Hai Perahan (The Paper-thin Garment). She produced and co-directed six films, and produced a further six independently.
Tahira Naqvi 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 Sadat Hasan Manto, Munshi Premchand, Khadija Mastoor and Ismat Chughtai into English.