We bring to you a list of five books written originally in Urdu ( except one) and translated to English which encapsulates the changing trends in the history of Urdu Literature.
This is an Urdu novel by Mirza Hadi Ruswa first published in 1899 and translated by David Matthews in 1996. The novel is known for its elaborate portrayal of mid-19th century Lucknow, its decadent society, and describes the moral hypocrisy of the patriarchal system of the times, where Umrao Jaan also becomes the symbol of a nation that had long attracted many suitors who were only looking to exploit her.
This collection of short stories came out in 1932 and was banned in 1933 on grounds of hurting religious sentiments. The four young Muslim writers of this collection – Sajjad Zaheer, Rashid Jehan, Mahmuduzzafar and Ahemd Ali had questioned the patriarchal construct of the society along with questioning religion and bringing up issues that would otherwise remain concealed. The book was translated in Hindi and in English in 2014.
This book was published in English in 1940 and the setting of this novel is around 1911 to 1919 of Delhi city. There can seen the themes of disintegration, degeneration, alienation, gender and social conflicts, nostalgia, downfall of Mughal Emperors, colonialist and imperialist effects on Indian Muslims of Delhi.
This is a novel written by Qurratulain Hyder in the context of an Indian subcontinent partition. It has been described as “one of the Indian Subcontinent’s best known novels”. The novel timelines spanned over two thousand years starting from the time of Chandargupt Maurya to the partition of 1947. It was published in Urdu in 1959 and translated by the author into English in 1998.
The book was written by Rahi Masoom Raza in Urdu in 1966 and was translated in 1994 by Gillian Wright. The novel narrates the story of two opposing Muslim landlord families in the village Ganguali at the time when India was gaining independence.