Guest Editor Muhammad Umar Memon

This September we’re treated to the finest in new Urdu fiction from India. Curated by distinguished translator Muhammad Umar Memon, this stunning collection is the perfect primer on the fantastic and varied forms of contemporary Urdu writing. Naiyer Masud, master of the Urdu short story and Saraswati Samman award winner, follows the travails of a young runaway given refuge by a mysterious stranger. Celebrated fiction writer Qurratulain Hyder tracks the fortunes of a young woman who jettisons family and home on an intercontinental romp, with the past hot on her heels. Trailblazing feminist writer Ismat Chughtai gives an unsparing account of the goings-on in a maternity ward, while Anwar Khan’s protagonist discovers the comforting solitude of a shop window. Award-winning journalist Sajid Rashid sorts through a train explosion in a tale told by a severed head, and Siddiq Aalam listens in on two grumpy old men in a Kolkata park. Rounding out the issue, Sahitya Akademi Award winner Rajinder Singh Bedi gives a lesson in the art of erotic statuary, while Zakia Mashhadi recounts a troubled saga of marriage, love, and religion, and Salam Bin Razzack paints a picture of a Mumbai under siege.

Also this month, Askold Melnyczuk extols the virtues of speaking more than Amerikanisch, Avrom Sutzkever recites an ode to the dove, and Najem Wali describes a visit to the morgue.

As an organization committed to presenting the perspectives of people around the world, we are devastated by the floods in Pakistan. We encourage our readers to donate to Red Cross relief efforts here.




Also in this Issue

Visiting the Morgue

Yusuf caught a quick look at the box’s label: “Container for Cut-off Ears and Earlobes.”



From “Ode to The Dove”

Trapped on the lips are sounds, like pearls of forts oceanate



Book Reviews

Mela Hartwig’s “Am I a Redundant Human Being?”

It is as if the narrator takes her own self, puts it under a microscope and probes it without flinching.


Laurence Cossé’s “A Novel Bookstore”

A new bookstore opens in Paris and stirs up a culture war.