Tag Archives: Writers

South Asian Literature Festival (15-25 October)

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

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Karachi Literary Festival: Spring in the land of suicide bombers and charlatans

Raza Rumi

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

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We At PTH Stand By Kamran Shafi

Kamran Shafi is a senior journalist of fierce independence.   He has reported a rather disturbing incident in his column in Dawn.   We at PTH stand by him and condemn such incidents of intimidation and harrassment against journalists and writers and wish him best of luck.  Here is his article:

So then, December is upon us, another year has gone by in the Fatherland’s struggle to keep its head above water, to be accepted as another half-civilised country in the comity of nations.

The very same terrorists who were running amok during the Commando’s time in the sun while he and his collaborators ran with the hares and hunted with the dogs, are somewhat under control due to the political will of the major political parties of the country which has forced the security establishment to become pro-active.
I say ‘somewhat’ because almost all of the Swat/Fata Yahoo leadership is either not yet apprehended or killed, the chief murderers Fazlullah and Mehsud either escaping into Afghanistan, Fazlullah purportedly on one leg, the other melting into the countryside. The ones apprehended, such as Muslim Khan the Terrible are being kept under wraps, i.e., have appeared in no court of law. He is charged, may we remind ourselves, with cold-hearted murder, rebellion against the state, robbery and dacoity, and petty theft. Continue reading

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Interview:British-Pakistani Novelist Tariq Mehmood

UK Political Debate: Q & A with Tariq Mehmood

Tariq Mehmood is a broadcaster, writer and filmmaker. His first two novels are both set in Bradford UK. He has published two illustrated books for children.

Tariq co-directed the award winning documentary Injustice. He is the editor of Sangi, the only magazine in his mother tongue, Pothowari in UK. Tariq and Rock musician Aki Nawaz host the Political Show “The Point” in UK on sky satellite 836. Tariq is visiting Pakistan to cover current  political situation. Continue reading

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An interview with Waqas Khwaja

Waqas Khwaja, Associate Professor of English, Agnes Scott College, has a Ph.D. from Emory University in Victorian fiction and teaches 19th century British literature, Romantic prose and poetry, and Postcolonial literature apart from courses in poetry writing.

He has published three collections of original poetry, No One Waits for the Train (2007), Six Geese From a Tomb at Medum (1987) and Mariam’s Lament (1992), a literary travelogue about his experiences with the International Writing Programme at the University of Iowa, Writers and Landscapes (1988), and three edited anthologies of Pakistani literature which also contain his translations from Urdu and Punjabi. A fourth anthology, Modern Poetry of Pakistan, is slated for publication in September 2009. He was a practicing lawyer and newspaper columnist in Pakistan before relocating to the United States in 1994. Continue reading

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Bridging the wide gap

Source: “Writers of Pakistani origin find themselves wedged between readers of two countries that share similar tastes, interests and a common pre-Partition history. Kalindi Sheth tests the connection between India and Pakistan through literature.

India and Pakistan are in the strange situation of being so close — more than just geographically — yet also being filled with misconceptions and stereotypes about each other, so there’s a particular pleasure when fiction starts to dismantle some of those stereotypes,” says Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie, whose works include In the City by the Sea, Broken Verses and the latest, Burnt Shadows.

Pakistani writers, or writers of Pakistani origin, find themselves wedged between readers of two countries that share Continue reading

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Ifti Nasim: Muslim and Gay?

By Bradistan Calling

Ifti Nasim also known as Iftikhar Nasim is a pioneering Pakistani gay poet who now lives in the U.S. He has written many books of poetry in Urdu and English languages. He has also written prose in both languages. Continue reading

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