October 2010


I am currently re-reading Shame. Last I read it, I was maybe 17 or 18. I remember liking parts of it and not understanding any of it. It is an insider novel, drowning in in-jokes, self-allusions, winks and sad nods. I never realized how sad it is - Rushdie pokes into the narrative (in a [...]

Atiya Fyzee

I have been doing some translation work on Shibli Naumani for a small project. He was a major historian of early Islam who published seminal works in the early 20th century. He was also a committed reformist who wanted to modernize "Muslim" education. But reading around on him, I got to read his letters to [...]

Madison 2010

As documented previously - here, and here (here) - there is a great gathering of all South Asianists at UW-Madison every October. This will be gathering # 39. I have two panels - one of which is "Fractured Genres: The Afterlives of Medieval Indo-Persian Histories" and the other one "Blogs of War: The Analytical Terrain [...]

Literary Striptease

"Translation for me stems from two different but interrelated impulses: a good text matures for the reader with every reading, reveals itself gradually—call it literary striptease. I can delve into it only through extended togetherness. Translation makes it possible to tease out all I can through this prolonged intimacy. The other insatiable impulse is to [...]

Getting to Know You

My new column, a review of Granta 112 ("the Pakistan issue") is up on Bookslut. Here's an excerpt: Green is the theme color in the Shahzads' bedroom. The curtains pick up the tone of the bed linens, and a bamboo print hung between the windows extends the botanical motif. "There was nothing out of the [...]


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