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Author: Mushirul Hasan
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Mushirul Hasan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195651413
A comprehensive selection of short stories that explore Muslim lives and inter-community relationships in the Indian subcontinent, this anthology seeks to interrogate the stereotyped notions of Muslims widely prevalent in this part of the world.
The anthology is a significant contribution as much for its literary merit as for its value as an authentic social document and dispels the 'mixture of fear and bewilderment' with which Islam and Muslims are viewed by many.
The highly representative range includes writers from many Indian languages covering the entire twentieth century: from the prolific and compassionate Saratchandra Chatterjee to the realist PremChand to the bold and controversial Ismat Chughtai; from the irrepressible humorist Vaikom M Basheer to the surrealistic N S Madhavan, to the postmodernist Anand and Jayanta De; from the Partition chronicler Ashfaq Ahmad to the ethnically flavored Abdul Bismillah, Fakir M. Katpadi and Thoppil M Meeran. Each one of the writers has left a distinct mark on his/her own literary tradition and is known for both freshness of theme and stylistic finesses.
Recognizing literature as a humanizing force, a site generating empathy and compassion, a space for the articulation of diverse voices and experiences, this collection brings to focus the multiple levels at which the Indian Muslim relates toy his temporal and spiritual world, and the ways in which he grapples with history and memory. It also highlights how he is perceived by others.
By sensitizing the reader to the multicultural reality of Muslim society, the anthology effectively dismantles the notion of a single, unified and inalienable Muslim identity and experience, a notion that does not take into account the complex and lived realities of India's 110 million Muslims.
Mushirul Hasan has published widely on India's nationalist movement, communalism, Partition and Indian Islam. He is the author of Legacy of a Divided Nation: India's Muslims Since Independence. He has also edited several other works, the latest being Inventing Boundaries: Gender, Politics and the Partition of India.
M. Asaduddin teaches English Literature and Translation Studies at Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia. He has researched in Joeph Conrad's novels and has published extensively in scholarly journals in India and abroad. A prolific translator in several languages, his articles/literary reviews appear regularly in The Book Review, Indian Review of Books, Indian Literature, and The Annual of Urdu Studies, Madison, USA.