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The Pity of Partition: Manto's Life, Times and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide

 
Ayesha Jalal (Author)
Synopsis

Ayesha Jalal uses Manto’s life and work to probe the creative tension between literature and history.

Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955) was an established Urdu short story writer and a rising screenwriter in Bombay at the time of India’s partition in 1947, and he is perhaps best known for the short stories he wrote following his migration to Lahore in newly formed Pakistan. Today, Manto is an acknowledged master of twentieth-century Urdu literature, and his fiction serves as a lens through which the tragedy of partition is brought sharply into focus. In The Pity of Partition, Manto’s life and work serve as a prism to capture the human dimension of sectarian conflict in the final decades and immediate aftermath of the British Raj.

Ayesha Jalal draws on Manto’s stories, sketches, and essays, as well as a trove of his private letters, to present an intimate history of partition and its devastating toll. Probing the creative tension between literature and history, she charts a new way of reconnecting the histories of individuals, families, and communities in the throes of cataclysmic change. Jalal brings to life the people, locales, and events that inspired Manto’s fiction, which is characterized by an eye for detail, a measure of wit and irreverence, and elements of suspense and surprise. In turn, she mines these writings for fresh insights into everyday cosmopolitanism in Bombay and Lahore, the experience and causes of partition, the postcolonial transition, and the advent of the Cold War in South Asia.

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About the author

Ayesha Jalal

Ayesha Jalal is Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University. Her publications include Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam since 1850 (2000) and Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia (2010).

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Bibliographic information

Title The Pity of Partition: Manto's Life, Times and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide
Author Ayesha Jalal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2013
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789350297896
length 265p.,
Subjects Biography