Husain’s literary legacy, a not-really tame raccoon, and compelling miniatures

Urdu literature icon Intizar Husain has been called “the greatest living writer in the Urdu language, a living legend, and Pakistan’s chronicler of change.” As the world reflects on his literary legacy following his death on Feb. 2, we share the recent MANOA journal, Story is a Vagabond, that showcases his work.

Story is a Vagabond (MANOA 27-1) features the short fiction, drama, and essays by Husain. On Feb.12, Majula Padmanabhan* wrote a charming review of the issue and tribute to Husain in the Hindu Business Line.

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Image from “The cookie’s calling” by Manjula Padmanabhan featured in the Hindu Business Line‘s Ink section.

“The stories speak of a time when India and Pakistan shared the language of thought,” Padmanabhan says to the not-really-tame raccoon featured in her column. “There are little chips of humour scattered throughout, like mica glittering in sand.”

In addition to photographs of Husain, the issue features art by Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi. A Feb. 18 article in The Guardian, highlights the painting that graces the cover of Story is a Vagabond.

Manoa 27:1 Story is A Vagabond, Intizar Husain

In the article, “‘Violence is all around me’: Imran Qureshi on his disturbing miniatures,” David Shariatmadari explains the process behind Qureshi’s compelling work:

All this is remarkable because of the tradition Qureshi is working in: miniatures produced using the techniques of 16th-century Mughal masters. Every aspect of the process is painstaking. Even the paper is handmade, multiple layers glued together to create a ground known as wasli. (“It comes from the word wasil, which means the moment when you meet your beloved,” he tells me.)

See how these artistic voices resonate together in Story is a Vagabond. The collection, co-edited by Alok Bhalla, Asif Farrukhi and Nishat Zaidi, can be ordered through the University of Hawaii Press.

*MANOA featured a performance piece by Padmanabhan, “Hidden Fires and Other Monologues,” in the Winter 2010 issue, Wild Hearts.

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