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Basti by. Intizar Husain. general information | review summaries | our review Urdu title: بستى; Translated and with a Translator’s Note by Frances W. The central figure is Zakir, and the novel begins in his childhood, in the. This item:Basti (New York Review Books Classics) by Intizar Husain Paperback “Intizar Husain is the most important writer of fiction in Urdu, the strangely. In Urdu, basti means any space, from the most intimate to the most universal, translator notes at the close of the novel, Intizar Husain’s Basti is an imperfect.

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Confusing – I didn’t get on with the style, and think I would have got more out of this if I’d been more familiar with the India-Pakistan war of They seize on you even more. The world semed to be an endless ugdu of “whens.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland – The National

But I loved the common man view of great events like the Partition and Partition of Bangladesh and Pakistan. It flows from him being in a state of mental turmoil to a stoned man pondering over mythical tales with a lot of metaphor and multiple layers of text to intense history and You will either love it or would want to get rid of it.

There is a very helpful glossary, though, which I wish I’d discovered earlier in the book. There are several gorgeous passages: You will either love it or would want to get jusain of it. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. Even when cities are left behind, they don’t stay behind.

Love dissolves the border like chalk-pictures erased by rain. Them too, so I can know how the goodness and sincerity gradually died out from the days, how the days came to be filled with misfortune and nights with ill omen. Intzar 26, Pages. I struggled my way till the end.


Basti, by Intizar Husain, translated from the Urdu by Frances W. Pritchett

Bastiby Intizar Husain. Novvel year turns everything topsy-turvy, and more so, it transforms the fate of the basti settlement. Which stories saw the the biggest audience in the last 12 months? I bought this book last year, early in my translated fiction kick, and I think it’s easily one of the best books I found as a part of that interest.

Historical Fiction Spiritual Fiction. Why did no one ever wonder why the Muslim League set up in Dhaka in suffer such a death blow in that very city in ?

We left Vyaspur before dawn, but when the lorry reached Bulandshahr it was already afternoon Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole.

This novel, to the extent it is historical, is about that time. Oct 23, Sorayya Khan rated it it was amazing.

It should be remembered that Husain, now considered a torchbearer of progressive thought in Urdu language and literature, was never a firebrand revolutionary in the way that other luminaries in Urdu are known as. Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value.

While this book wasn’t completely terrible by any means, it was a slog to get through and the writing style was jarring to say the least. It’s wonderfully written, moving but dense, and I at least left it with a deeper sympathy, I hope understanding, for the travails of a large and important place and all the people over the generations who have lived there. His nostalgia is not comforting, there is that disquiet air that runs through his works, and Bastiarguably the finest novel on Partition, is no different.


But it has a very strong sense of place, a great eye for detail, well-drawn characters and natural-sounding dialogue.

Come and join them, before silver fills the part in her hair, and your head becomes a drift of snow, and our lives are merely a story. View all 5 comments. However, the novel as a genre and as a kaleidoscope of society conveys a discreet vision of the world. Sabirah remains on Zakir’s mind, yet he finds it difficult to reach out and even just contact her over the many years that follow their separation.

But I don’t bast that with the Partition. There is conflict, flight, occasional terror, but little of the worst excesses of partition — or then the war — are described.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland

In Basti he has produced a novel of epic ambition: And let us not forget Jallianwala Bagh, a park, inursu a crowd of nonviolent nationalist demonstrators were trapped in a walled garden and repeatedly fired upon by soldiers under a British general, leaving hundreds dead.

So I read this as an American. December 31, Economic direction?

My favourites were mostly in chapter 7: Of course, the parallels are strong. While the sentences swim in Urdu like fish in a sea, in English I want them at least to swim like fish in a well-designed aquarium.

Oct 16, The Book rated it it was ok Shelves: Zakir – the ‘he’ of this novel – keeps going to the garden.