Faith and Feminism in Pakistan
Religous Agency or Secular Autonomy?
by Afiya S. Zia
Rs. 1195 Rs.1015
Are secular aims, politics, and sensibilities impossible, undesirable and impracticable for Muslims and Islamic states? Should Muslim women be exempted from feminist attempts at liberation from patriarchy and its various expressions under Islamic laws and customs? Considerable literature on the entanglements of Islam and secularism has been produced in the post-9/11 decade and a large proportion of it deals with the “Woman Question”. Many commentators critique “the secular” and “Western feminism,” and the racialising backlash that accompanied the occupation of Muslim countries during the “War on Terror” military campaign launched by the U.S. government after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Implicit in many of these critical works is the suggestion that it is Western secular feminism that is the motivating driver and permanent collaborator – along with other feminists, secularists and human rights activists in Muslim countries – that sustains the West’s actual and metaphorical “war on Islam and Muslims.” Faith and Feminism addresses this post-9/11 critical trope and its implications for women’s movements in Muslim contexts. The relevance of secular feminist activism is illustrated with reference to some of the nation-wide, working-class women’s movements that have surged throughout Pakistan under religious militancy: polio vaccinators, health workers, politicians, peasants and artists have been directly targeted, even assassinated, for their service and commitment to liberal ideals. Afiya Zia contends that Muslim women’s piety is no threat against the dominant political patriarchy, but their secular autonomy promises transformative changes for the population at large, and thereby effectively challenges Muslim male dominance.
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: May 2018
Rights: South Asia
Availability: In Stock
Meeting the South Asian Parents
Who Raised Me
by Sopan Deb
A bittersweet and humorous memoir of family—of the silence and ignorance that separate us, and the blood and stories that connect us—from an award-winning New York Times writer and comedian.
Approaching his 30th birthday, Sopan Deb had found comfort in his day job as a writer for the New York Times and a practicing comedian. But his stage material highlighting his South Asian culture only served to mask the insecurities borne from his family history. Sure, Deb knew the facts: his parents, both Indian, separately immigrated to North America in the 1960s and 1970s. They were brought together in a volatile and ultimately doomed arranged marriage and raised a family in suburban New Jersey before his father returned to India alone.
But Deb had never learned who his parents were as individuals—their ages, how many siblings they had, what they were like as children, what their favorite movies were. Theirs was an ostensibly nuclear family without any of the familial bonds. Coming of age in a mostly white suburban town, Deb’s alienation led him to seek separation from his family and his culture, longing for the tight-knit home environment of his white friends. His desire wasn’t rooted in racism or oppression; it was born of envy and desire—for white moms who made after-school snacks and asked his friends about the girls they liked and the teachers they didn’t. Deb yearned for the same.
Deb’s experiences as one of the few minorities covering the Trump campaign, and subsequently as a stand up comedian, propelled him on a dramatic journey to India to see his father—the first step in a life altering journey to bridge the emotional distance separating him from those whose DNA he shared. Deb had to learn to connect with this man he recognized yet did not know—and eventually breach the silence separating him from his mother. As it beautifully and poignantly chronicles Deb’s odyssey, Missed Translations raises questions essential to us all: Is it ever too late to pick up the pieces and offer forgiveness? How do we build bridges where there was nothing before—and what happens to us, to our past and our future, if we don’t?
“A delightful memoir of people and place that will draw in Deb’s fans and attract plenty of new ones.”
-Library Journal (starred review)
“I was moved by the ways in which Sopan Deb taps into both the darkness and light that permeate a story about love, family, and understanding. He’s a masterful storyteller, and I’m thankful for his bravery and willingness to share the kind of human story that we too often prefer to keep to ourselves.”
-Kal Penn, comedian and actor
“Both moving and hilarious, Missed Translations is not just about exploring culture, family, and love, but about understanding where one comes from in the deepest possible way. It’s a wonderful journey.”
-Jake Tapper, CNN host and author of The Hellfire Club“
“Sopan Deb hilariously and truthfully lets us in on the ups, downs, lefts, and rights of trying to understand – as a standup comedian and a journalist – the two grown-up strangers who raised him. It’s a crazy story, but you know. Good crazy. Funny crazy. Read-this-book crazy.”
-Pete Holmes, comedian, podcast host, and author of Comedy Sex God
“As a man who has both been a performer and covered performance, Sopan Deb now paints his most important picture yet, the self-portrait.”
-Roy Wood Jr., comedian and correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
“A sympathetic portrait of South Asians who are neither crazy and rich nor humorless nerds…Memoirs by children of immigrants often fault clueless parents; this one is refreshing for Deb’s realization that—whatever his elders’ missteps—he needed “to take some responsibility for my part in our family’s disconnect” for things to change.”
“While his topic is serious, Deb’s writing is breezy and witty, and his earnestness will sweep readers up into this charmer of a memoir.”
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing Date: December 31, 2020
by Bacha Khan
Translated from the original Pukhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada
Affectionately known as ‘Bacha’ Khan or ‘King’ Khan amongst his people, Ghaﬀar Khan’s life was dedicated to the social reform of the Pukhtuns, who traditionally adhere to a strict code of life, ‘Pukhtunwali’, governed by rather rigid tribal norms. His life-long struggle to modernise Pukhtun society and his decades-long non-violent defiance, adopted by his Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) party during the struggle for independence against the British, have earned him a stature that few other anti-colonial leaders in the Sub-continent can match. Few are aware that the Khudai Khidmatgar lost the greatest number of workers compared to any other party that was part of the anti-colonial movement.
An increasing consciousness amongst the Pukhtuns against oppression and war, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has led to a resurgence of the teachings of Bacha Khan. His powerful political weapon of non-violence, his emphasis on including women in all walks of life, his belief in religious tolerance and his legacy of speaking truth to power, are, today, values that bear increasing relevance to the people of a much-troubled region.
“Bacha Khan’s message of the power of peaceful protest for liberty, equality and justice changed our culture and customs forever and inspires me every day in my activism for girls’ education and women’s empowerment.”
-Malala Yousafzai, Youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate
“As a student activist, what struck me the most about working with Bacha Khan was the strength of his compassion and his disarming humility. He would insist on walking long distances even in old age to reach the marginalised to help them or to at least express solidarity with them. The publication of English translation of his Pakhto autobiography is coming out at a time when younger generations are rediscovering Bacha Khan’s life and struggle.”
-Afrasiab Khattak, Former Provincial President of Awami National Party, former senator, writer and analyst of regional affairs.
“This compelling story is more relevant now than ever. Bacha Khan’s tireless struggle against oppression and division was non-violent and uncompromising, principled and creative. Readers will be enthralled and inspired.”
-Mukulika Banerjee, Author of The Pathan Unarmed, 2001.
“The life story of a man of peace and non-violence, born amidst mayhem and conflict across the Sub-continent, still carries a powerful message in the turbulent times we live in. The autobiography of Bacha Khan in English, for the first time in a lucid translation from the original Pakhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahizada, is a landmark publication. The history of modern South Asia has been incomplete without a better understanding of how and why the fierce Pashtun tribes embraced the Gandhian ideology of non-violent defiance. My Life and Struggle introduces a new and younger generation to the tribulations of the Pashtuns.”
-Ahmed Rashid, Author of Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 2012.
Publisher: Folio Books
Weight in kg: 0.900
Publishing date: February 06, 2021
Rights: Pakistan and Afghanistan
Rs. 595 Rs.297
“Harris Khalique explores with self-contained mastery the contrasts between official and untold history; the almost magical crudity of poetical observation aspires here to heal the well-spring of common stories where customary meaning loses its grip and absurdity finally makes sense.”
Omar Pérez—Essayist, Editor (Son of Ernesto Che Guevara)
“In No Fortunes to Tell, the poet records his experience of the world with brutal candour. His poems speak with chill detachment of war and its horror, destitution and disease and the dehumanisation of the poor. Beneath the matter of fact tone, spare language and austerity of the writing, there is pain for the human lot. This is a poetry that moves even as it terrifies and shocks. It shuns lyricism because the truth is too bitter to bear prettification or musical colour. ”
Adrian A. Husain —Poet, Author of Desert Album and Italian Window, Renaissance scholar, known for his Politics and Genre in Hamlet
“No Fortunes to Tell opens windows into a mind, one determined to confront its hauntings. Harris Khalique pays his respects to the shades of events that frighten us, leave communities unsettled and provoke our most necessary acts of love. His meditations refract violence, each abstracting human need from a detailed portrait of sorrow.”
Kristin Dykstra—Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, St Michael’s College, Vermont
“In precise, striking language Harris Khalique’s poems grapple with the great tragedies and moral questions of our time. He reveals Aleppo, Yemen and Waziristan as no reporter can, as only a poet can. A marsiya for our broken world.”Basharat Peer—Author Curfewed Night
Publisher: Folio Books
Division: Folio Poetry
Availability: In Stock
by Ammar Ali Qureshi
“A highly interesting and instructive book, a compilation of published columns and book reviews by Ammar Ali Qureshi. His scholarship, his command over the entire gamut of subjects that he delves into in each of his pieces, from columns to book reviews, and his captivating style makes the reading of the book a pleasurable experience”
– Muhammad Ziauddin, former Executive Editor The Express Tribune
“Ammar Ali Qureshi has done something refreshing that is not frequently seen in this part of the world. Borrowing from his guru AJP Taylor, he has picked some of his own published book reviews and essays from the last fifteen years to bring a book into shape. Qureshi’s lens is wide, whether it is trends, people, history, contemporary politics or culture. Each piece is interesting and readable, and carries the mark of his depth of knowledge and erudition. Therein lies the value of this publication.”
– Farah Zia, former Editor The News on Sunday
“Ammar Ali Qureshi’s unique blend of political analysis, cultural salience and spirit of reform shines through in this great collection of articles he has written during a most crucial time in Pakistan’s history. Voices like Qureshi’s help connect the high minded with the banal in just the right measure.”
– Mosharraf Zaidi, Columnist The News, and Policy Analyst
Release date: August 2021