From My Beautiful Laundrette to This Other Salt

Pre-Partition Pakistan had a tradition of writing in English, but only in recent years have Pakistani English fiction, poetry, and some drama started to come into their own. The distinguished Zulfikar Ghose has a considerable body of work behind him, including several books of poetry, ten novels and a collection of stories. Hanif Kureishi made his name as playwright, received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette and went on to write three successful novels, including The Buddha of Suburbia, which won the 1990 Whitbread Award for best first novel. Bapsi Sidhwa, who remains an enormously popular author in Pakistan, is the recipient of Germany's 1991 Liberature Prize and the 1993 Reader's Digest's Lila Wallace Award. Her novel Ice-Candy-Man about Partition, has now been made into the film, Earth, by Deepa Mehta. Other award-winning    novelists of Pakistani origin include Adam Zameenzad, whose novels are set in different continents and explore man's search for dignity and salvation.

Tariq Ali has moved away from politics, to become a successful playwright and novelist, which has enabled him to express different facets of himself: his interest in South Asian and Islamic history and in the universal ideas of communism and enlightenment. The short story writer Aamer Hussein is exploring quite a new dimension for Pakistani English fiction by trying to bring his English narrative closer to the literary traditions of Urdu. Then there is Sara Suleri, who forged new dimensions for Pakistani English prose, with her remarkably poetic and creative memoir Meatless Days.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian