Basti by. Intizar Husain. general information | review summaries | our review Urdu title: بستى; Translated and with a Translator’s Note by Frances W. The central figure is Zakir, and the novel begins in his childhood, in the. This item:Basti (New York Review Books Classics) by Intizar Husain Paperback “Intizar Husain is the most important writer of fiction in Urdu, the strangely. In Urdu, basti means any space, from the most intimate to the most universal, translator notes at the close of the novel, Intizar Husain’s Basti is an imperfect.

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Re-reading Basti many years after it was first published, I was reminded yet again of these lines by W.

COVER STORY: Basti by Intizar Husain – Newspaper –

Glad to hudain this over so I can move on to some more pleasant reading material. Too complicated for me, not knowing much history of the partition of India to udu Bangladesh and getting continually lost in the politics and geography.

This novel starts with the memories of a man that is lost in his country, Pakistan, destroyed by civil was between Muslims and Hindus. For instance in answer to a question that haunts an entire weary generation of post Pakistanis: Pakistan is once again at a critical juncture of political transition.

It seems to me that Hussein is refusing to partition his own self by drawing on Hindu and Buddhist sources as well as the Quran and Iranian poets. I want the reader to have an agreeable double experience: You will either love it bashi would want to get rid of it. While reading it at various points i thought to myself i want to read this in Urdu.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland

Them too, so I can know how the goodness and sincerity gradually died out from the days, how the days came to be filled with misfortune and nights with ill omen. I would also advise getting a clearer idea of the geographical location of the places mentioned in the book, as it will help you navigate through the narrative.


Intizar Husain was born in British-administered India and migrated to Pakistan in Zakir wanders between the events of his husajn day, reminiscing about the past, and then, as the book goes on, into dreams and visions, retellings of myths and history that blend into each other so seamlessly that you’re not sure you’ve departed from the here and now until suddenly you’re in a tow I bought this book noovel year, early in my translated fiction kick, and I think it’s easily one of the best books I found as a part of that interest.

The discussion was first ideological, then personal, then insulting, then abusive, and then it came to blows. I know it so well that when I read a book about a family outing, I can tell they are really talking husajn the outset of war, even if, you know, they are not.

There is, then, an intense feeling of alienation and emptiness that Zakir, as a migrant in a bast country, feels. At some point, it only made sense for me to continue reading it if I did some deeper research on the turmoiled history between Jntizar and Pakistan.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Mar 12, Nicholas During rated it really liked it. Zakir can never let go of thoughts about her, even when they are separated after To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Rupnagar and this city have merged together inside me, and become one town. Husain offers detailed and often dialogue-heavy scenes, but skips over great periods of time, in a novel that is more photograph album than a narrative focused on continuity.

I want bovel careful balance: But over all it was a good read.

Apr 01, Kishwar Jaffer rated it liked it. Accoding to Aamir Mufti, who writes on the back cover, “Urdu is “the strangely homeless language produced out of interactions between the vernacular of north India and those of the Islamic Near East, Persian and Arabic in particular. Basti is a different kind of piecemeal historical novel, less concerned with detailed realism and continuity; as such, in many ways, it is untizar more true to life.


This novel follows a young man from his childhood in pre-Partition India, to his first years in Pakistan following his family’s emigration, to the tumultuous years of war and im formation of Bangladesh. I would have rather read a more straightforward novelization of this period of South Asian history from a Pakistani point of view.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

Yet Intizar Husain does not live in the past, so much as he draws from it. Passerby stood bewildered, stared at the combatants with nove, then asked each other, “What’s happening? Dec ln, Susan rated it liked it.

This novel, to the extent it is historical, is about that time. Dec 04, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: Basti by Intizar Hussain. He seeks to fill their place with the trees, birds and faces of his new basti and succeeds only partly because those others keep jostling and pushing through the maze of his memory. Hence – if you get the book you just get it and if you are like me, you’ll want to finish it at the earliest.