Wild Boar In The Cane Field
by Anniqua Rana
Rs. 995 Rs. 645
In a world of magic realism, a fly-covered baby girl is found and raised by two mothers in a village rife with rituals and superstition. She pursues acceptance at all costs, while the villagers seek sanctity at a shrine dedicated to the Keeper of the Flies, which is separated from the village by a threatening cane field.
“Rana gives us a compelling and rare glimpse into the life of rural Pakistan in her novel Wild Boar in the Cane Field.” ―BAPSI SIDHWA, author of The Crow Eaters and City of Sin and Splendour: Writings on Lahore
“Here we are gifted a world that is vibrant and richly imagined. The narrative voice is tender and patient in its portrayal of how tradition touches modernity, how the ancients sway the imaginations of the young.” — SHANTI SEKARAN, author of The Prayer Room and Lucky Boy
“An astonishing novel that transports the reader to rural Pakistan. The author paints a vivid picture that shocks and enthralls. Rural Pakistan is seldom written about—and even when it is, the overall effect isn’t convincing. With a host of unforgettable characters and a gripping plot, Wild Boar in the Cane Field towers over other contemporary literature. This is a debut you will fall in love with.”— AWAIS KHAN, author of In the Company of Strangers
“Immersive and intense, Wild Boar in the Cane Field, a novel by Anniqua Rana, explores the resilience of one woman’s spirit in the face of adversity.”― NRI Pulse
“Rana’s words echo long after the book is over as one mourns over the losses faced by her characters in the course of the narrative. The emotions are intense and extremely powerful. One can find oneself cheering for Saffiya and Bhaggan as they battle their way through a painful existence, riddled with blind beliefs and superstition… This book is a treat to devour from start to finish. Everything about it is vivid.”― KITAAB.ORG
“Rana is a vivid writer with a talent for evocative metaphors . ”— Kirkus Reviews
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: December 2019
Rights: South Asia
Availability: In Stock
People have disagreed since time immemorial. They have argued or agreed to disagree, or eventually arrived at agreement. All that is part of life, of living. But we live in times when any form of dissent in India is marked as anti-Indian, suggesting that the very concept of dissent has been imported into India from the West. It is an argument made by those who visualize the Indian past as free of blemishes and therefore not requiring dissenting opinions. But as Romila Thapar explores in this timely historical essay, dissent has a long history in the subcontinent, even if its forms have evolved or changed through the centuries.
Thapar looks at the articulation of dissent, focusing on nonviolent forms, which is so essential to all societies, and relates it to various moments of time and in varying contexts as part of the Indian historical experience. Beginning with Vedic times, she takes us from the second to the first millennium BC, to the emergence of groups that were jointly called the Shramanas—the Jainas, Buddhists and Ajivikas. Going forward in time, she explores the views of some Bhakti sants and others of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries AD, and brings us to a major moment of dissent that helped to establish a free and democratic India— Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha.
In her argument, Thapar emphasizes how religion has always reflected social change, and ends with the eventual politicization of religion in the present.
She also highlights the public response to particular forms of dissent. She places in context the recent peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens in places like Shaheen Bagh, Delhi. Implicit in this is the question of whether or not the idiom of religion is necessary. According to her, dissent in our time must be audible, distinct, opposed to injustice and supportive of democratic rights. The articulation of dissent and debate through dialogue is what makes of it a movement that changes society for the better.
Written by one of India’s best-known public intellectuals, Voices of Dissent has immense relevance. It is essential reading for anyone who contemplates not only the Indian past but also the direction in which society and the nation are headed.
ROMILA THAPAR is Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has been General President of the Indian History Congress. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and holds honorary doctorates from Universities of Calcutta, Oxford and Chicago, among others. She is an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and SOAS, London. In 2008 she was awarded the prestigious Kluge Prize of the Library of Congress, USA.
Publisher: Folio Books
Release date: July 14, 2021
Availability: In Stock
And Other Poems
‘This translation of Fahmida Riaz’s poetry collection not only preserves the iconoclastic sensuousness of Fahmida’s Urdu original but adds to its evocative power through English diction and figures of speech. Fahmida Riaz’s voice had the distinction of breaking new paths, daring to deviate from fixed civilizational tangents in daring to talk about the female body and libido around which there were, and still are, strong taboos. This translation has been undertaken in the same spirit of daring in defiance of the forces of reaction which prevent the female voice from being heard.”
– Tariq Rahman, Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Beaconhouse National University; Author of A History of Pakistani Literature in English 1947-1988
‘Tahira Naqvi has done a great service to the cause of transnational Marxist feminism in presenting to readers the iconic feminist poetry of Riaz, which evolves over her life and career, from solitary musings of “empowered” selfhood to a more communitarian understanding and embrace of solidarity across gender, class, nation in the pursuit of justice.”
– Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar, Montclair State University; Author of Siren Song: Understanding Pakistan through its Women Singers
“An amazing sangam (confluence) of two creative feminists.”
– Kamla Bhasin, poet, author and feminist activist; Author of Understanding Gender
“Although every language has its own canvas that reflects the beauty of its words and culture, Tahira Naqvi’s English translations of the Urdu poetry of Fahmida Riaz fit well into that canvas, the words are like a stream flowing from the hills.”
– Kishwar Naheed, poet; Author of Buri Aurat ki Kathaa
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: October 05, 2020
Availability: In Stock
Poetry for a New Generation
Rs. 500 | $ 7.00
This is an unusual book — the focus is not on what Ghalib means but on what Ghalib makes us think of contemporary issues. It puts Ghalib to work and brings Ghalib to life. It is an invitation to think with Ghalib about all the big issues — faith and religion, us and them, the nature of divinity, being and nothingness, the importance of thinking for oneself, what it means to believe, and what it takes to be human. It is a roller-coaster ride with one of the most creative minds of all time.
“To think with Ghalib is to think with a fifteen-hundred-year-old sub-continental tradition of dissent that passes through Lal Ded, Kabir, Nanak and Ravidas before it reaches him. The only reason his name sounds odd in their saintly company is that, outside invisible lovers of poetry, he did not leave behind a panth. One can only be grateful to Altaf and Basole for giving us a book that is almost an act of inspiration: 30 couplets in English, Urdu, Nagari, and a transliteration of the original in Roman. Then comes the prose reflection on the couplet: lucid and explorative, it leaves us surprised at how we could have lost the questioning path that was there for the following. A panth of non-believers and doubters, then, something the sub-continent needs more than ever.”
– Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, poet, translator and literary critic
“Thinking with Ghalib is an invitation to South Asian readers to delve into, engage with, and enjoy the unique imagination of the founder of Urdu poetic discourse, shaping the creative orientations of generations through the printed media and expanding schools. By focusing on couplets, Altaf and Basole ask the reader to join them in a quest to experience tradition and modernity as a continuous public debate through one of the enduring forms of artistic expression in our cultures. A brilliant contribution to understanding the past in the present.”
– Ashraf Ghani, co-author, Afghanistan: A Lexicon
“With unusual clarity and a genuine sense of wonder, Altaf and Basole deliver a careful dialogue in thinking through Ghalib’s euphorically elevating verses as he romps through temple, tower and palace, manipulating complex realities in staggering two-line zingers. A must-read for people of all ages and all nationalities.”
– Azra Raza, co-author, A Tribute to Ghalib: Twenty-One Ghazals Reinterpreted
“Mirza Ghalib’s very survival as an inevitable and constant reference point for great poetry, and oftentimes for life’s travails, is a testimony to both the immediacy of his relevance and his transcendence of time. What makes him the extraordinary poet is his extreme sensitivity to the richness of his cultural heritage as well as its attributes of imprisonment. Ghalib imbibes the richness and yet rebels against it. Questioning from within is the single most striking characteristic of his poetry in tune with questioning that has sustained human civilization’s quintessential spirit through the ages: from Socrates to the Charvakas, from Mansoor al-Hallaj and Kabir to Descartes. This amazing experiment in unearthing the layers of meaning(s) in Ghalib’s couplets from their innermost depths sets a superb example of seeking out the soul of poetry. In any case, dissent resides at the very heart of ghazal, the poetry of love, as its raison d’ȇtre. Anjum Altaf and Amit Basole, both Professors of Economics, engaging in this literary endeavour also questions the neat disciplinary divides that academics are so enamoured of.”
– Harbans Mukhia, former Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Trustee, Ghalib Institute, New Delhi
“Here is a unique attempt — often brilliant, wise, provocative and always bravely original — to help young people, especially from South Asia, to discover (or rediscover) the poetry of Ghalib, and in it find both questions and possible pathways to answers to some of the most urgent and perplexing riddles of our times.”
– Harsh Mander, author and Director of Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi
“This a truly invaluable collection of specific Ghalib couplets, reprinted in the Roman, Arabic and Devnagari scripts and accompanied by an informed interpretation in English by Anjum Altaf and Amit Basole. The two authors succeed in highlighting the timelessness of Ghalib’s work and skilfully place his ideas and the profound questions about our world — and indeed human nature itself — within a modern context. The importance of this book lies in the fact that it is aimed at a young audience in the sub-continent and the diaspora. The discussion on each and every couplet succeeds in simplifying, yet highlighting, the complexities and nuances of Ghalib’s words. In the process, the book draws attention to subtleties of the Urdu language itself — and is likely to encourage young readers to reach out for more … I wish my daughters had had a book like this to introduce them to Ghalib when they were at school!”
– Muneeza Shamsie, writer and critic
“These selections, explanations and reflections will bring Indians and Pakistanis closer to Ghalib’s genius and, inshallah, to one another.”
– Rajmohan Gandhi, historian and author of Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten
“This remarkable book offers yet another way to enjoy Ghalib, through an in-depth, contextual and nuanced exposition of thirty of his couplets. Two centuries after his time, the great bard comes back to life in the skilled analysis of Altaf and Basole, giving new meaning to the line hui muddat ke Ghalib mar gaya, par yaad aata hai.”
– Raza Mir, author of Ghalib: A Thousand Desires
“This collection of Ghalib’s couplets was thoughtfully designed to be accessible to language learners at all levels. The writing style is light, even as it engages readers in an essential exploration of what Ghalib’s poetry means now. Each interpretation is deeply grounded in an understanding of Ghalib and his intellectual and social milieu, as well as a profound sensitivity to the poetry itself. In addition to a greater understanding of each couplet, readers will acquire the habits that will help them appreciate the world of Urdu poetry on their own. I only wish there had been a resource like this when I was learning Urdu.”
– Roanne L. Kantor, Assistant Professor of English, Stanford University
“Thinking with Ghalib is a welcome addition to the large archive on Ghalib for three reasons: first, because it makes this nineteenth century poet relevant to the twenty-first century readers in South Asia and the world; secondly, because it is a product of the collaboration of two prominent Pakistani and Indian intellectuals at a distressful juncture of our history which is a good omen for peaceful coexistence through shared intellectual and aesthetic continuities; and, thirdly, because it is in three scripts—the Perso-Arabic script of Urdu, the Devanagari script of Hindi and other Indian languages and the Roman script used for English and other Western languages which makes Ghalib available not only to South Asians but a very large part of the world. This book, I hope, will be the pioneer in the fashion for rewriting our classics so that they appeal to the present generation.”
– Tariq Rahman, Dean, School of Education, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore; author of Language and Politics in Pakistan
“As a Ghalib-lover I often read him and apart from the ecstasy I receive from some of his couplets, what strikes me poignantly is his humanism. Like Shakespeare, Ghalib is always in sympathy with human nature in all its shapes and degrees, elevations and depressions. This is the main premise of Thinking with Ghalib, a meticulously researched book by Anjum Altaf and Amit Basole.
“That Ghalib is for all times is an acknowledged fact. Altaf and Basole explain why it is so. More: they explore the layered meanings of Ghalib’s couplets and relate them to the critical political, psychological and economic issues of our times. Students of literature would benefit hugely from this book which ought to be a part of the syllabi of our universities.”
– Zia Mohyeddin, President of NAPA and author of A Carrot is a Carrot, The God of My Idolatry, and Theatrics
Publisher: Folio Books
Release date: July 10, 2021
Availability: In Stock
Trump, Modi, Erdogan, Duterte
Edited by Vijay Prashad
Rs. 595 Rs. 297
The monsters have returned. They are led by strong men – by Trump, by Modi, by Erdoğan, by Duterte and by others. But these are not really strong men. These are men who pretend to be strong, who hide behind ugly rhetoric that befuddles the masses, but who are nothing other than cowardly when it comes to social reality. Rather than confront the difficult problems that face us – problems of unemployment and starvation, humiliation and inequality – they take refuge in an easy rhetoric of hate. It is so much easier to hate than to spend the time necessary to build the ramparts of a future world, one where the catastrophic social problems of today no longer define human existence. But the monsters of today – the morbid symptoms of this period of transition – do not care to tackle the problems of society. They blink at them, nod at them, and then move on to harsher prescriptions.
Publishing date: May 2018
Availability: In Stock