Tag Archives: Literature

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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Islamabad Literature Festival 2014: Literature in the time of crises

This article was first published in The Express Tribune on Apr 26, 2014. Islamabad – April which to TS Eliot apparently is “the cruelest month” turns out to be the most benign for the literature buffs of twin cities. They – before it departs – will have a chance to listen and interact with as […]

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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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Children’s Literature Festival 2013

An edited version of this article of The Express Tribune on May 25, 2013. Islamabad – The Pak-China Friendship Centre resembled a big, happy playground on Friday as children and their parents roamed around book stalls, literary discussions, reading sessions and interactive activities at the federal capital’s first-ever Children’s Literature Festival. The festival, which has […]

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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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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Pashto poetry deals with war

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on May 1, 2013. Islamabad – “What tyrant has attacked my mountains this year/ When I go to shovel the snow, I pick up only blood.” This verse from a recent Pashto poem written by Mukhtar Orakzai, translated into English, best describes […]

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Ahmed Faraz and land reforms

This article was first published in The Express Tribune on Feb 15, 2013. Islamabad – Sometime after the 1990 decision by Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court declaring land reforms ‘un-Islamic’, Abid Hassan Minto, a veteran constitutional expert and progressive politician, remembers meeting the revolutionary poet, Ahmed Faraz. “What kind of a lawyer are you […]

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