Birds of the Snows


Author: Tarannum Riyaz

9789391125288 | PB | pp. 500 | 2021 | Niyogi Books

Birds of the Snows by Tarannum Riyaz explores women’s freedom, the mother-daughter relationship and social mores through the journey of a Kashmiri family.

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Originally published in Urdu as Barf Aashna Parindey,, Birds of the Snows novel traces the journey of a family in Kashmir and primarily the life of their daughter, Sheba, as she studies and discovers her own path. Sheba wishes to be free, just as the birds that she likes observing, but understands the need to live within social conventions and accept life’s responsibilities.

Exploring women’s freedom, the mother-daughter relationship and social mores, the author skilfully interweaves several poignant narratives. While studying at university, Sheba takes on the compassionate task of looking after her professor, when he is afflicted by a stroke. She engages in this humanitarian role with her college batch-mates and continues alone after they move on, in pursuit of their professional and personal goals.

This deftly translated novel depicts the changing times in Kashmir, from a rural to a more urban life, the impact of modern thinking, and through its portrayal of female characters explores their compassion and resolve, as well as their search for self-fulfilment.


Tarannum Riyaz







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Niyogi Books





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About the Author

The author was a noted Urdu writer, critic, poet and translator. Born and educated in Srinagar, Kashmir, she had Masters’ degrees in Urdu and Education and a doctorate in Education. She was the author of more than 20 books of fiction, criticism and poetry. Her works have been translated into many national and international languages. Her writings are prescribed for research and studies in educational institutions of India. She had also been a visiting lecturer at many prestigious educational and research institutions in India and abroad.

She was a former Senior Fellow with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and had received many awards for her work, including the SAARC Literature Award (2014), the Jammu and the Kashmir Academy for Art, Culture and Languages for the Best Book Award (2008) and the Delhi Urdu Academy Fiction Award (2006). Dr Riyaz has also participated in many national and international conferences and seminars.


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