PTH announces the forthcoming festival – Raza Rumi
The inaugural South Asian Literature Festival takes place in London from 15th – 25th October, followed by outreach events in Brighton, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester at the end of October.
SALF joins an emerging landscape of literature festivals located in South Asia including Jaipur, Hay Festival Kerala, Galle and Karachi Literature Festivals but is UK based and the only one to have the remit of focusing on South Asian writing exclusively.
Reflecting the diverse nature of South Asian culture, SALF is a multi-dimensional festival and will explore the politics, languages and literature of the region through music, spoken word, visual arts and literary performance.
Playing host to a stellar cast of authors, actors, poets, musicians – home-grown, international and from the sub-continent – and leading lights from the worlds of politics, academia and broadcasting, SALF looks forward to hosting top names such as prize-winning novelist Romesh Gunesekera; from two great political dynasties, Fatima Bhutto and Nayantara Sahgal; historian Michael Wood, acclaimed writer and musicianAmit Chaudhuri, Pakistan’s rising-star author Moniza Alvi, jazz musician Cleveland Watkiss and well-known broadcasters Mihir Bose and Hardeep Singh Kohli. Continue reading
Who says Pakistani literature was a relic of the past? If anything, Pakistani authors have a global audience today, and our writers are now the greatest harbingers of Pakistan’s complexity and nuance in a way that the embedded media can scarcely fathom.
The first literary festival took off in our cosmopolitan melting pot, Karachi, in March. The Oxford University Press’ dynamic head Ameena Saiyid, and the British Council, together organised this event. Asif Farrukhi, the premier litterateur of the metropolis was central to the festival. Farrukhi’s comprehensive command of Urdu and English literary currents, and the stature which he has earned with his hard work, ensured that we were all set for a fabulous gala.
Earlier, the festival faced the usual hurdles: the Indians were issued visas rather late in the day and my friend Sadia Dehlvi was denied a visa at the last minute, despite earnest efforts by the organisers. The iron curtain was rigidly in place. But the other regional and international delegates arrived as planned. The last minute finalisation of the schedule meant that due notice could not be given to many participants. However, the OUP team, especially Raheela Baqai, were adept at getting things done. Saiyid herself used Facebook to advertise the event. She’s obviously keeping up with technology and its changing frontiers.
We arrived just in time for the launch ceremony that was held at the British Consulate. It was quite a journey from the Carlton Hotel to old-world Clifton – a mini-bus that dazzled with literary icons of our time: Iftikhar Arif, Intezar Hussain, Masood Ash’ar and Shamsur Rehman Farooqi from the world of Urdu. The front seats were occupied by the petite and resplendent Bapsi Sidhwa, the contemplative Zulfiqar Ghose and the younger British Pakistani writer Sarfaraz Manzoor, whose book ‘Greetings From Bury Park’ has created waves across the English reading Continue reading
PTH is proud to announce that Dainyal Mueenuddin has won the Commonwealth Prize along with Rana Dasgupta. PTH had met Daniyal and interviewed him as well.The link can be found here
I am posting a press release sent to us by Muneeza Shamsie:
REGIONAL COMMONWEALTH PRIZES
Karachi, 11 March. The Pakistani author, Danyal Mueenuddin won the regional (Europe and South Asia) Commonwealth Writers Prize 2010 for the Best First Book for his story collection Other Rooms Other Wonders set mostly in Southern Punjab where he farms. The judges considered the book “remarkable for its clear, exact prose and its wide scope … the short sharp pithy observations and details” according to Muneeza Shamsie the Regional Chairperson of the CWP 2010. The British author Rana Dagupta, won The Best Book Award for his novel Solo which revolves around the memories and daydreams of Ulrich, a blind, 100 year old man in Sofia and was chosen for “its innovation, ambition and courage as well as its elegant prose” Continue reading
Edited and Tranlated by Rita Kothari
We are grateful to Isa Daudpota to have alerted us to an invaluable collection of Sindhi Partition narratives.
As Isa says, most people in Pakistan are unaware of the plight of Sindhi Hindus who migrated to India at the time of Partition. The two stories are a useful corrective. Copies are available from www.penguinindia.com or amazon.com. Indeed, All public libraries in Sindh should have a copy.
Unbordered Memories. Sindhi Stories of Partition. Ed and Trans Rita Kothari. Contents and Intro
Two stories from Unbordered Memories. ed Rita Kothari. Penguin
The poem below is breath-taking in its original content in Pushto. My love for the verses made me try and ruin them through a translation but that could be forgiven, for everything is fair in love and .. err .. I don’t wanna talk of war as it reminds me our war ravaged Pushtun belt — a sad sad story being played in our backyards.
Lets look at the rich Pushto literary tradition and we’ll find people like Rehman Baba, Khushal Khan, Ghani Khan, Amir Hamza Shinwari and many many more who stirred the hearts and souls through the magic of their words. Continue reading
Filed under Pakistan, poetry
Dear Readers: Pakistan is under threat from a minority of radical extremists who have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with grabbing state power and nuclear weapons to create chaos and anarchy in the world. My country has a rich history of music, dance, poetry, art and literature. All will be lost and more if the Taliban and al-Qaeda are not confronted decisively by the Pakistani state, army and its people. This is a letter to Pakistan’s president from an organization called Concerned Citizens of Pakistan. I hope it will enlighten you. Salman Ahmad of Junoon. Continue reading
From the Wall Street Journal
In Azhar Abidi’s new novel, “The House of Bilqis,” the Pakistani-born author raises a series of difficult questions: What are the consequences of leaving home and marrying outside one’s culture? And how does one address familial obligations, never stated but always present, that demand sacrifices grown children don’t want to make?