When the world was young...

As Wikipedia will tell you, Ismat Chughtai (1915-1991) was an eminent Indian writer in Urdu, known for her indomitable spirit and a fierce feminist ideology. Considered the grand dame of Urdu fiction, Chugtai chose to stay in India after the subcontinent was partitioned. 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 modern India. 


And more from Wikipedia: 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. She was born in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh and grew up largely in Jodhpur where her father was a civil servant. She was ninth of ten children (six brothers, four sisters), and since her older sisters got married while Ismat was very young, the better part of her childhood was spent in the company of her brothers, a factor which she admits contributed greatly to the frankness in her nature and writing. Her brother, Mirza Azim Beg Chughtai, already an established writer, when Ismat was still in her teens, was her first teacher and mentor. 


Women Unlimited, publishers of many of her books has brought out The Three Innocents, and OthersChughtai on Childhood this year. 

In paperback, 139 pages, Rs 300. ISBN: 9789385606083

Comments