My Friend, My Enemy

Description

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.

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