By Ayesha Jalal

Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955) was once a longtime Urdu brief tale author and a emerging screenwriter in Bombay on the time of India's partition in 1947, and he's possibly top identified for the quick tales he wrote following his migration to Lahore in newly shaped Pakistan. this present day Manto is an stated grasp of twentieth-century Urdu literature, and his fiction serves as a lens in which the tragedy of partition is introduced sharply into concentration. within the Pity of Partition, Manto's existence and paintings function a prism to trap the human size of sectarian clash within the ultimate a long time and instant aftermath of the British raj.

Ayesha Jalal attracts on Manto's tales, sketches, and essays, in addition to a trove of his deepest letters, to offer an intimate historical past of partition and its devastating toll. Probing the inventive stress among literature and historical past, she charts a brand new means of reconnecting the histories of people, households, and groups within the throes of cataclysmic swap. Jalal brings to existence the folk, locales, and occasions that encouraged Manto's fiction, that's characterised through a watch for element, a degree of wit and irreverence, and components of suspense and shock. In flip, she mines those writings for clean insights into daily cosmopolitanism in Bombay and Lahore, the adventure and motives of partition, the postcolonial transition, and the arrival of the chilly battle in South Asia.

The first in-depth glance in English at this influential literary determine, The Pity of Partition demonstrates the revelatory strength of paintings in instances of serious ancient rupture.


"Tufts collage historian Jalal (Partisans of Allah), a great-niece of Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955), supplies readers an intimate, passionate, and insightful portrait of this fantastic yet tragic guy as he navigated and interpreted the repression, chaos, and violence of the ultimate years of British colonialism and the upheaval of India's 1947 partition. The ebook follows Manto's lifestyles from his rebellious formative years and early maturity translating Victor Hugo and Oscar Wilde in Amritsar, Punjab, to his years as a suffering journalist and picture author in Bombay, the place his provocative tales elicited various obscenity fees whereas construction his acceptance as 'the father of the Urdu brief tale' and a "'unique literary miracle" destined for immortality,' and his prolific yet stricken later years in postpartition Lahore, untimely loss of life at forty two, and his boisterous funeral, the place 'several of Manto's fictional characters have been noticed within the crowd.'"--Publishers Weekly

"[A] effective advent to Manto and his paintings, and his depiction of partition."--M. A. Orthofer, whole Review

"Eminent historian Jalal has written a wealthy, attractive, from time to time relocating account of the lifetime of Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-55), interweaving biography with the tumultuous occasions of Indian nationalism, the Partition, and early Pakistan. . . . A much-needed examine of a pioneering public figure."--Choice

"[S]ome of the best photographs of Manto, his spouse and of his pals beautify this booklet. but, the spotlight of Jalal's paintings is that she has now not permit her proximity to Manto and his kin have an effect on in any respect the objectivity that this type of examine may call for. Her impartial method of providing Manto along with his failings and foibles is helping a extra thought of knowing of the writer."--Business Standard

"Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-55) was once a number one Urdu author who attracted controversy in prepartition India and early postpartition Pakistan for his brief tales and movie scripts that handled intercourse and politics in a bold demeanour. Jalal, his grandniece, makes use of his released writings and relatives letters and her interviews with relations to painting his complicated courting. Interweaving tales from his fiction and occasions from his lifestyles, she produces a wealthy . . . tapestry of a fancy society and the tensions that outfitted as much as the explosive violence of partition in 1947."--Foreign Affairs

"Jalal has played an excellent carrier for students and the studying public through commencing the Manto archive to their gaze. I for one will learn Manto's tales, any more, with additional excitement and comprehension."--Ian Copland, American historic Review

"Basing her paintings on Manto's lifestyles, his critical cosmopolitanism, the various trips during which he traversed Amritsar, Delhi, Bombay and Lahore, and later, the borders of India and Pakistan, the friendships with different writers and picture personalities, and the exploration of alternative different types of writing--all of this turns into a fashion of analyzing the historical past of Partition, and certainly wondering and resisting the colonial undertaking of separation at the foundation of spiritual id. . . . This publication, particularly within the part on his tuition years, offers aspect of the sort that frequently encourages readers to come to the paintings to determine how existence resonates with fiction."--Urvashi Butalia, Livemint

"Ayesha Jalal has succeeded splendidly in weaving jointly the 3 parts she has chosen--Manto's existence, his works and the momentous occasions he lived via. Hers is a decent portrayal of an excellent guy whose personal honesty, independent-mindedness and perception have been awesome, and whose tales are nonetheless unparalleled."--Gillian Wright, India Today

"Resplendent with anecdotal chapters approximately Saadat Hasan Manto’s growing to be up years in Amritsar, his maturity stories in Bombay, and his figuring out of partition. . . . Illuminating."--Arunima Mazumdar, occasions of India

"This is one booklet that each Manto lover would like to devour."--Yatin Gupta, IBN Live

"This is a hugely readable e-book. . . . the result's an amazingly informative, even-handed, and sensible portrait of the nice writer."--Ishtiaq Ahmed, Pacific Affairs

"This is a masterful old learn of partition as obvious in the course of the existence and writings of 1 of the subcontinent's most suitable storytellers--Saadat Hasan Manto. a piece right now scholarly and emotive, panoramic and private, gripping and empirical, this is often Jalal at her amazing best."--Seema Alavi, writer of Islam and Healing

"This lovingly written, informative, and considerate publication by means of Ayesha Jalal is a becoming tribute to the existence and paintings of her great-uncle, Saadat Hasan Manto, one of many major writers of recent South Asia, at the celebration of his centennial birthday. Jalal strikes deftly among background, biography, and literature, experimenting with a story procedure that succeeds in shooting the feel of 'cosmopolitanism in way of life' that Manto championed. The Pity of Partition merits a large readership."--Dipesh Chakrabarty, collage of Chicago

"This is an enthralling, fantastically written highbrow and creative biography of Manto, concentrating on the contribution of his writing to our ancient figuring out of the partition of British India. The ebook is a revelation, a distinct own background of partition that may stimulate new study into the connections among cultural construction, social event, and politics in the course of those an important transitional decades."--David Ludden, writer of India and South Asia: a quick History

"Jalal's e-book is well timed and valuable. Manto continues to be one of many subcontinent's most vital literary figures, but outdoors India and Pakistan there's a unhappy lack of know-how approximately his oeuvre and highly fascinating old milieu. The Pity of Partition is the main entire English-language examine of Manto's existence, occasions, and work."--Priya Gopal, college of Cambridge

"Manto is a twentieth-century grasp of Urdu fiction who's turning into recognized world wide. before there has been no account in English of his lifestyles and literary battles. The Pity of Partition is worthy for college kids of Manto and basic readers attracted to his writing, whose numbers have persevered to develop in fresh years."--Aamir R. Mufti, writer of Enlightenment within the Colony

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Extra resources for The Pity of Partition: Manto’s Life, Times, and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide

Sample text

There were any number of armored government vehicles taking people to prison, but none to remove the corpse of the innocent young boy. Death was horrific. But tyranny was even more horrific and dreadful. Khalid began crying. His mother ran to console him; she knew from her husband about the boy bleeding to death in the street. Khalid asked why the boy had been beaten up. She replied that he must have done something naughty. In school one is caned for being naughty and no blood pours out, he protested tearfully.

Saadat soon lost interest in gambling, but there was no letup in either his drinking or his mischief making. A contrarian by nature, Manto only strengthened his resolve not to conform or compromise in the face of familial disapproval of his lifestyle. When his father’s pressure on him to pass his school-­leaving exams became unbearable, Manto decided to drop the science subjects in favor of Persian and Urdu. He switched schools, enrolling in the Muslim High 33 Unauthenticated Download Date | 6/25/16 3:39 PM I Stories School.

Bari remembered the surprise and envy that greeted Saadat’s emergence as a writer. 16 Manto’s room was filled with the works of Victor Hugo, Lord Lytton, Maxim Gorky, Anton Chekhov, Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Leonid Andreyev, Oscar Wilde, and Maupassant. Bari regarded Hugo as the greatest novelist in the world. ” Bari supervised the trio’s translation of one of Oscar Wilde’s lesser plays, Vera, a melodramatic tragedy about Russian nihilist revolutionaries. The play was printed at a publicity-­savvy local press.

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