An Uncivil Woman: Writings on Ismat Chughtai

ISBN : 9780199474875

Rakhshanda Jalil
272 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Oct 2017
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Ismat Chughtai-one of the most provocative and rebellious writers in Urdu-wrote voluminously until she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1988. Her formidable body of work comprises several collections of short stories, novels, sketches, plays, reportage, radio plays, as well as stories, and dialogues and scenarios for the films produced by her husband Shahid Lateef as well as others. Much of her non-film writing was autobiographical; if not directly related to her own life, it certainly stemmed from her own experiences as a woman, especially a middle-class Muslim woman. Chughtai is considered as one of the four pillars of modern Urdu short story, the other three being Saadat Hasan Manto, Krishan Chander, and Rajinder Singh Bedi. Her outspoken and controversial style of writing made her the passionate voice for the unheard, and she has become an inspiration for the younger generation of writers, readers, and intellectuals. This work is a collection of reflections on Ismat Chughtai from a variety of scholarly and other sources, especially people who knew her personally. It brings together literature on Ismat Chughtai that had been in scattered sources, many of them out of print, into a single volume. Some pieces have been translated for the first time for this volume. The essays vary in their scholarly approaches, ranging from the theoretically erudite to the thoughtful general overview and interview, shedding light on multiple aspects of Chughtai.


Introduction by Rakhshanda Jalil
1 Disorderly Discernments: How Does One Look Through What Can Be Seen? Ismat Chughtai on the Train- Geeta Patel
2 Looking for Ismat Chughtai: Journeys in Reading and Translation- Tahira Naqvi
3 Gender, Modernity, and Nationalist Sensibility in Terhi Lakeer - Fatima Rizvi
4 Ismat Chughtai: A Talk with One of Urdu's Most Outspoken Women Writers - Carlo Coppola
5 Teen Anari: A World of Laughter and Lessons - Syeda S. Hameed
6 Lady Chenghiz Khan - Qurratulain Hyder (Translated by Deeba Zafir)
7 The 'Sex Appeal' of Ismat Chughtai's Language - Faiz Ahmad Faiz
(Translated by Mohammad Asiz Siddiqui)
8 The Elusiveness of the Ordinary in Ismat's Stories - Krishan Chandar (Translated by Rakhshanda Jalil)
9 Ismat Chughtai: A Reminscence - Muhammad Hasan Askari (Translated by Asif Farrukhi)
10 Ismat Chughtai: An Individualistic and Quirky Author - Khalil-ur Rehman Azmi (Translated by Huma Mirza)
11 Breaching old fortifications, finding new pathways - Patras Bukhari (Translated by Fatima Rizvi)
12 Crossing the Line of Fear - Hajra Masrur (Translated by Rakhshanda Jalil)
13 The Dozakhi Ismat Chughtai - Upendranath Ashk (Translated by Rakhshanda Jalil)
14 'The Dirt is in Their Minds': An Interview - Asif Aslam Farrukhi
About the Editor and Contributors

About the author: 

Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, critic, and literary historian. She is the author of Lies: Half Told (Srishti 2002), Black Borders: Through the Closed Doorway (Rupa 2003), Circle and Other Stories (Rupa 2003), A Winters Tale and Other Stories (Puffin 2007), The Temple and the Mosque (HarperCollins 2011), Liking Progress, Loving Change: A Literary History of The Progressive Writers Movement in Urdu (OUP 2014) and Pigeons of the Domes (Niyogi Books 2015).

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