My Friend, My Enemy


Author : Ismat Chughtai

9788188965984 | PB | pp. 284 | 2015 | Women Unlimited

This selection from Ismat Chughtai s prose writing, comprising essays, commentaries and pen-portraits of her contemporaries, gives the reader a good idea of the artistic, political and social mores of her times.

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Ismat Chughtai established herself as a stalwart of Urdu fiction at a time when writing by and about women was both rare and tentative. This selection from her prose writing comprises autobiographical essays, literary criticism and pen portraits of her well-known contemporaries. The collection aims to make an important contribution to the social fabric of her life and times. Section One includes essays like “Communal Violence and Literature”, “Where Should We Go?”, “A Word”, “Heroine” and “From Bombay to Bhopal“. Section Two contains excerpts from “The Lihaaf Trial“, where Chughtai had to answer to charges of obscenity; “From Here to There”, which is an account of her journey from India to Pakistan after Partition “The Caravan’s Dust” and other pieces. Her lively personality sketches of writers like Patras Bokhari, Manto and Krishan Chander, and of her brother, Azim Beg Chughtai who was her first teacher and mentor, form part of Section Three.


Ismat Chughtai




Women Unlimited





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About the Author

Ismat Chughtai was an eminent Urdu writer, known for her indomitable spirit and a fierce feminist ideology. She was considered the grand dame of Urdu fiction, Along with Rashid Jahan, Wajeda Tabassum and Qurratulain Hyder, Ismat’s work stands for the birth of a revolutionary feminist politics and aesthetics in twentieth century Urdu literature. She explored feminine sexuality, middle-class gentility, and other evolving conflicts in the modern Muslim world. 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.


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