Tag Archives: fiction

Children not reading as many or as diverse books as before

An edited version of this book was first published in The Express Tribune on May 5, 2014. Islamabad – From among the group of school girls, Ramsha Zafar admitted bashfully that she is fond of the stories of Amar Ayyar, popularly mispronounced as Umro Ayyar, the legendary trickster from the Dastaan-e Amir Hamza. Ramsha, an […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2014: South Asian English poetry and the hegemony of English language

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Apr 27, 2014. Islamabad – Why would a non-native English speaker belonging to a postcolonial nation write in the former master’s language? Why would a South Asian poet write in English? Some writers and poets say it was their personal preference, […]

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On the literature of peripheries in a global mass market

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Feb 6, 2014. Islamabad – From the tone and tenor of his talk, the Brazilian author Bernando Carvalho appears to be a soft-spoken, principled rebel. His rebellion is thorny and refreshing in a world where writers often opt for obsequiousness rather […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Tarrar in a society of taboos

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on May 3, 2013. Islamabad – Mustansar Hussain Tarrar, a renowned Urdu writer, hopes he could write his major novels in a society where there was no sword hanging constantly over the heads of writers. Tarrar was speaking at a reading session […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Urdu Short Stories

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on May 2, 2013. Islamabad – If someone thinks Urdu short stories are a thing of the distant past when writers such as Manto, Bedi, Krishan Chandar and Ismat Chugtai ruled supreme, they are mistaken. “Just in the past one year, 102 people […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Intizar Husain speaks about Buddha, his literary mentors and storytelling

Islamabad – Since the nominees for the Man Booker International Prize 2013 were announced in January, almost every Pakistani who has some interest in the country’s Urdu and English literature knows that Intizar Husain is the first Pakistani and the first Urdu writer ever to be nominated for the international award. What they might not […]

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German journalist’s political thriller on extremism and Islamophobia in the West

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Feb 20, 2013. Islamabad – As Sumaya reads the hate mail received by her boss, Lutfi Latif, the newly elected member of the German parliament, she thinks whether she would say something similarly hateful if she was filled with rage. She reads […]

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On Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Eulogy from Islamabad

  An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on April 23, 2014. At the end of Love in the Time of Cholera, the 1985 novel by Colombian Nobel Prize-winning writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a riverboat captain, who is transporting his girlfriend and two ageing lovers, is hounded by armed […]

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On Literature for Social Change

An Interview with Indian writer Noor Zaheer, the daughter of Sajjad Zaheer An edited version of this story first appeared in The Express Tribune on January 19, 2014. Islamabad – There is certain fearlessness and optimism around Noor Zaheer, when she speaks. To the left-leaning activists, writers and intellectuals assembled at her book’s launching ceremony […]

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