The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction - Vol. 3

By John Clement Ball | Go to book overview

P

Pakistani Fiction
MUNEEZA SHAMSIE

There has always been a tradition of Englishlanguage writing in Pakistan, but contemporary Pakistani English fiction is new. In 1947, when Pakistan was created by the partition of British India, its only eminent English-language novelist was Ahmed Ah. His classic Twilight in Delhi (1940) portrays life in traditional Delhi against the onslaught of Westernization and provides interesting contrasts with Sunlight on a Broken Column (1963), a requiem for Lucknow by the Indian writer, Attia Hosain. Ah’s innovative, stylized linguistic experiments foreshadow the more successful strategies of Hosain and Pakistanis Aamer Hussein and Kamila Shamsie to incorporate the literary elements of Urdu into English narrative.

In the newly independent Pakistan, there was much debate over the validity of English, a colonial language, as a creative vehicle, since literature was regarded as an instrument of nation building. The first cohesive modem Pakistani novel in English was The Murder of Aziz Khan (1967), written by the expatriate Zulfikar Ghose in Britain; it revolved around the tussle between a traditional farmer and ruthless industrialists and remains Ghose’s only novel about Pakistan. He migrated to Texas in 1969 and translated his subcontinental experience into novels about his wife’s homeland in South America, including his acclaimed trilogy The Incredible Brazilian (1972–9), which spans three centuries. South Asia and South America both frame his novel The Triple Mirror of the Self (1992), a tale of exile, exclusion, and quest across many continents. Similarly, the expatriate Adam Zameenzad wrote a first novel, The Thirteenth House (1987), about Pakistan; subsequent novels are set in other countries with echoes of his homeland, including My Friend Matt and Henna the Whore (1988), describing famine in Africa, and the intricate Cyrus, Cyrus (1990), about a man’s search for dignity and salvation across India, Pakistan, Britain, and America.

By the late 1970s, Pakistani publishing was in crisis and Bapsi Sidhwa had to self-publish her first novel, The Crow Eaters (1979); but with its British publication in 1980, she became the first resident Pakistani English writer since Ahmed All to receive international recognition. It lampooned the erstwhile colonizers and colonized with a then rare ribaldry in subcontinental English literature, and it was the first major Englishlanguage novel about the minority Parsi community to which Sidhwa belongs. She portrays the circumscribed lives of women in all her novels, including The Bride (1982), The American Brat (1994), and Water (2006), a lyrical adaptation of Deepa Mehta’s film. Sidħwa’s third novel, IceCandy-Man (1988; published in the US as Cracking India, 1991) remains the only Pakistani English novel to center on the partition riots. Narrated by an English-speaking child, it was the first Pakistani narrative to employ the cadences of Pakistani English.

The development of Pakistani English fiction by women coincided with a strong and politicized women’s movement protesting against Pakistan’s new “Islamization” laws discriminating against

-1277-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editors i
  • The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature WWW.Literatureencyclopedia.Com ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Entries vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Notes on Contributors to Volume III xv
  • Introduction to Volume III 937
  • A 942
  • B 980
  • C 995
  • D 1034
  • E 1052
  • F 1066
  • G 1094
  • H 1121
  • I 1145
  • J 1154
  • K 1167
  • L 1180
  • M 1198
  • N 1252
  • O 1270
  • P 1277
  • Q 1296
  • R 1300
  • S 1325
  • T 1365
  • U 1370
  • V 1373
  • W 1378
  • Z 1398
  • Index 1400
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 1484

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.