A Life In Words

A Life in Words, the first complete translation of her celebrated memoir Kaghazi hai Pairahan, provides an authentic and delightful account of several crucial years of Ismat s life Presented along with the vivid and high energy descriptions of her childhood years are the conflicted experiences of growing up in a large Muslim family during the early decades of the twentietA Life in Words, the first complete translation of her celebrated memoir Kaghazi hai Pairahan, provides an authentic and delightful account of several crucial years of Ismat s life Presented along with the vivid and high energy descriptions of her childhood years are the conflicted experiences of growing up in a large Muslim family during the early decades of the twentieth century We get an intimate view of a writer s fierce struggle to find her own voice and depict with passion and precision the visible and subtle tyrannies of contemporary society A Life in Words is a searingly honest and compellingly readable memoir of the life of one of the most significant Urdu writers of all time.Source flipkart life words 06
A Life In Words A Life in Words the first complete translation of her celebrated memoir Kaghazi hai Pairahan provides an authentic and delightful account of several crucial years of Ismat s life Presented along wit

  • Title: A Life In Words
  • Author: Ismat Chughtai
  • ISBN: 9780670086184
  • Page: 457
  • Format: Hardcover
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    About the Author

    Ismat Chughtai

    Ismat Chughtai Urdu August 1915 24 October 1991 was an eminent Urdu writer, known for her indomitable spirit and a fierce feminist ideology She was considered the grand dame of Urdu fiction, Along with Rashid Jahan, Wajeda Tabassum and Qurratulain Hyder, Ismat s work stands for the birth of a revolutionary feminist politics and aesthetics in twentieth century Urdu literature She explored feminine sexuality, middle class gentility, and other evolving conflicts in the modern Muslim world Her outspoken and controversial style of writing made her the passionate voice for the unheard, and she has become an inspiration for the younger generation of writers, readers and intellectuals.

    385 Comment

    • Arunima said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      To readers, Ismat Chughtai was an eminent Urdu writer. Her bold protagonists stood out from the ordinary, her outspoken approach jolted regressive minds and her rebellious themes raised many eyebrows. Her strong feminist ideology, blunt and deliberate, made her one of the most controversial and successful writers of her time. 'A Life in Words: Memoir' (Kaghazi Hai Pairahan) is Ismat Chughtai speaking to us in defence of 'Lihaaf', her controversial short story, and to an extent, justifying her di [...]

    • Deepa Ranganathan said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      A must read for all Chughtai fans. Even more so for those who have no knowledge of her except, perhaps her unnecessarily sensationalized 'Lihaaf'. Special thanks to the translator for being as faithful to Urdu as he possibly can. Ismat is probably one of the most underrated Urdu feminist writers, IMHO. The book is a true insight into the making of a revolutionary writer at a time when girls were hardly exposed to basic education. A salute to her fighting spirit.

    • Sunny said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      This was a book about a female Muslim writer from India (at the time before the partition) very much cut from the same cloth that Edward Said is in many ways in that she was an intellectual. It was a coincidence that I was also reading a couple of Edward Said books at the time and one being his memoirs. This was the same but covered a very short period of her life (like the Said book) but I couldn’t really engage with this one. It went through a myriad of names of relatives but I couldn’t re [...]

    • Chaitrali Joshi said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      Need to read Lihaaf now.

    • Anukriti said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      Chugtai for me before reading Life In Words was simply the author of Lihaaf (I am ashamed of my short-sightedness). Her memoir introduced me to Ismat Chugtai, the mischievous but probing child, the honest sister, the bold daughter, the courageous aunt, the funny classmate, the self-aware woman and the romantic soul.Chugtai in her witty and candid style which is at the same time shrill and piercing introduces us to a phase in Indian history which many are not conscious of. How beautifully she tra [...]

    • Indiabookstore said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      To be honest, I hadn’t heard the name before, Ismat Chughtai, though it sounded vaguely familiar. So I gladly picked up her “memoirs”—no, I wouldn’t define the book as an autobiography—more so because it is the work of an Indian woman, trying to create an identity for herself in a time when it not only seemed difficult, but improbable.Like I mentioned, it is not really an autobiography, but more like an account of her life growing up in Jodhpur, and also in Aligarh and Lucknow, where [...]

    • Mahinn said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      I have this three stars not on basis of the content, which is a mix of hearty tales from the author’s life, but to the sheer lackadaisical translation and editing of the book. So sloppy. Sentences end in one place and something completely unrelated picks up. There’s no trajectory, no chronology, no introduction of the circus of characters parading across every page. But Ismat is a delight. Such wit and repartee. The silliest and funniest anecdotes, and stories of a life before Partition leav [...]

    • Pallavi Barnwal said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      A lot of things, Ismat sketched in the book hold true even in present times. How a girl should be perceived as good and how should she behave in order to be perceived as good.

    • Tikuli said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      I am huge admirer of Ismat Chughtai's writing and have read many of her stories. A Life In Words connected with me at many levels and that speaks volumes about women's lives across the length and breadth of the country and through the times. I wish I could read it in original Urdu too. One can see the powerful voice behind the witty, blunt, strongly feminist and bold narrative. I loved that unlike other memoirs this one is uses "story telling" technique which keep the readers glued to the narrat [...]

    • Ipshita said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      The first time I read her was in college. It was the usual post-lunch short-stories lecture and that afternoon, it was an occasion for us to discover an Urdu writer and probably the sub-continent’s foremost feminist author. Short stories I believed lived a short life in my memory. They did not leave an impression in the mind the way a novel would or maybe I, as a reader, was partial to the latter form of writing. My bias took a severe beating that afternoon after the class finished reading Ism [...]

    • Ipshita said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      The first time I read her was in college. It was the usual post-lunch short-stories lecture and that afternoon, it was an occasion for us to discover an Urdu writer and probably the sub-continent’s foremost feminist author. Short stories I believed lived a short life in my memory. They did not leave an impression in the mind the way a novel would or maybe I, as a reader, was partial to the latter form of writing. My bias took a severe beating that afternoon after the class finished reading Ism [...]

    • Reena said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      Love the subject and am so fascinated by Chugtai her sensibility, and take on life as evidenced by her books but this book (apparently her memoir translated) was disjointed and could not keep my interest; can't tell if it was the narrative or just a bad translation because Chugtai herself is a compelling writer (and an even more compelling person) but maybe not as dextrous a memoirist. This did however provide a good insider view of the making of a leading and fearless urdu writer from the progr [...]

    • Imran said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      Thank God, I read original Urdu version. Without reading English version, I can say much would have been lost in translation.Enjoyed parts dealing with court proceedings against 'Lihaf' and 'Thanda Gosht'. If today's digest writers lived that period, they might have been executed for vulgarity as they don't have grip on language and are not aware of the art of saying things in between the lines like the legendary writers.

    • Saileena said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      I read this after I watched Garam Hawa(the movie)which I loved.This book gives a peek into a different era and a woman who pushed every boundary and made her own path.She comes across as extremely witty and strong willed woman much ahead of her times.What a fascinating woman and what an amazing life.The translation made me laugh so often and think so deep about the plight of women(then and now), in can only imagine how good the book must be in the original.

    • Daisy.singh15gmail.com said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      One of my fav books was fun reading heroffers a glimpse into the turbulent and unconventional life of the author who refused to be bogged down by societal norms. i still hav to read Lifting the veil !

    • Mick said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      Awesome book. Would have been nice if it was a comprehensive account of the author's complete life.

    • Babita said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      Dust of the Caravan, In the Name of Those Married Women, An Incomplete Woman, Women's Education, Hell and Light - Read and re-read. :-)

    • Priya Rohatgi said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      perfectly woven

    • Neeti said:
      Oct 17, 2018 - 18:34 PM

      Patchy narrative and nothing about her personal, aka marital, life at all, and honestly, that intrigued me even more.

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