Basti has ratings and 42 reviews. Zanna said: My first and last journey with her. We left Vyaspur before dawn, but when the lorry reached Bulandshahr. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Basti by Intizar Husain. : Basti (New York Review Books Classics) (): Intizar Husain, Frances W. Pritchett, Asif Farrukhi: Books.

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Years following the bloody partition have had very similar effects on their characters. I suppose hasti was deliberate in terms of depicting how we experience thought and memory but it made for a very slow read in parts. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

I’m on the run from my own history, and catching my breath in the present. The Urdu short story has had a better deal in terms intizqr translations, but the Urdu novel has largely been ignored.

Their have been wars of succession in Pakistani Bengal and Indian Punjab, effectively reliving the Partition again. The ingizar semed to be an endless chain of “whens.

Basti by Intizar Husain – Penguin Books Australia

It is being published in Pakistan by Sang-e-Meel Publishers. Feb 01, D.

Open Preview See a Problem? The central figure is Zakir, and the novel begins in his childhood, in the village of Rupagnar, where electricity is just being introduced. Originally written in Urdu and first published inBasti poignantly captures the tragic succumbing of paradise to the corrosive powers of time through the emotional journey of its main protagonist, Zakir.

But over all it was a good read. Basti is the great Pakistani novel, a beautifully written, brilliantly inventive reckoning with the violent history of a country whose turbulence, ambitions, and uncertainties increasingly concern the whole world.

Orthofer6 February Bastiwritten inis set in when war clouds are gathering, the new country of Pakistan is no longer fresh and pure and hopeful but soiled and weary and entirely without hope and news from distant East Pakistan is ominous. And whether I’m right or not, the symbolic burp is casual and reflexive.


Husain offers detailed and often dialogue-heavy scenes, but skips over lntizar periods of time, in a novel that is more photograph album than a narrative focused on continuity.

He makes friends with the trees. Win a Lit Hub tote bag! And what does Intizar Hussain do? When the world was still all new, when the sky was lntizar and the earth not yet soiled, when trees breathed through the centuries and ages spoke in the voices of birds, how astonished he was, looking all around, that everything was so new, and yet looked so old.

Be it drawing generously from the Jataka tales or the Panchatantra fables or even the layered Shiite tradition or the more modern existentialism, his tomorrows have been taken care of by yesterdays. To ask other readers questions about Bastiplease sign up.

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. In those days how the caravans arrived from their long, long journeys! A rough, comradely, affectionate term of address used among male peers. Party atmosphere set to sweep across major cities in Asia and other continents as the clock ticks past midnight.

Newer Post Older Post Home. It isn’t always the easiest to follow as the story jumps around a lot in to memories and dreams, which also reference traditional Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim stories and, as someone without an awareness of these stories, I think a lot of the symbolism and meaning went over my head. I want a careful balance: Their life, actions, thought revolve around that town where they were originally from and they can’t escape that.

Scritto originariamente in Urdu, questo libro racconta la scomparsa di This novel starts with the memories of a man that is lost in his country, Pakistan, destroyed by civil was between Muslims and Hindus.

Zakir wanders between the events of his present 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 last 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.


I read this as someone who thinks you need look no further than religion and colonialism to see why, today, the world is set to explode. Books by Intizar Hussain.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland

The novel primarily relates the various stages of his life. Critics, often driven by ideological imperatives, considered it to be a lesser novel for its evident refusal to apportion blame or affix responsibility.

Want to Read saving…. How could any novel, let alone such a slim volume, carry within it the story of both Partitions—that of as well as —without becoming entirely weighed down? Rupagnar is abandoned, but remains the Zakir’s lost home; moving to a new ly created state demands new allegiances, yet Zakir always remains torn. This madness has to stop, at some stage as cultures of the severed provinces are exactly the same.

And I read this because a character in The Uusain of Krishnapur bastk, “you have to be very careful thrashing a Hindu, George, because they have very weak chests and you can kill them I didn’t connect with the novel even though I find the subject matter very interesting Partition and its aftermath. This novel, to the extent it is historical, is about that time. Not a beach read, more like a book I’d recommend reading as part of a modern Asian history class with a teacher that can give more context While this book wasn’t completely terrible by any means, it was a slog to get through and the writing style was jarring to say the least.

We don’t hear news, only that the beloved one intiizar it, or that it is discussed by friends in the cafe Perhaps it is partly due to the bemused, somewhat perplexed look he wears most of the time, a bit like R.