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Book Club: Basti by Intizar Husain
Salaam All, Hope you are all doing well. Here is the choice for the next book club. By a legendary fiction writer from Pakistan, who recently passed away. The book is considered a literary classic. Basti by Intizar Husain “Intizar Husain is one of Pakistan’s—and South Asia’s— greatest living writers. Basti, a haunting modernist echo chamber of voices from Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic traditions, unflinchingly depicts contemporary political violence in prose that is suffused with a deep nostalgia for a much less tormented age. Basti is a transformative vision of both present and past.” —Pankaj Mishra Basti is a beautifully written reckoning with the tragic history of Pakistan. Basti means settlement, a common place, and Intizar Husain’s extraordinary novel begins with a mythic, even mystic, vision of harmony between old and young, man and woman, Muslim and Hindu. Then Zakir, the hero, wakes to the modern world. Crowds gather. Slogans echo. Cities burn. Whether hunkered down with family or furtively meeting to exchange news with friends in cafés, Zakir is alone in a country lost to the politics of loneliness. “Intizar Husain is the most important writer of fiction in Urdu, the strangely homeless language produced out of interactions between the vernacular of north India and those of the Islamic Near East, Persian and Arabic in particular. In Basti he has produced a novel of epic ambition: a swirling storm of historical moments, scriptural traditions, and ancient mythologies, all harnessed around the convulsion of India’s partition along religious lines. By taking us through the internal life of his protagonist, Zakir—‘He who remembers’—Husain performs an act of civilizational memory and provides us with the fragments of a culture’s history that modernity has firmly set on the road to oblivion.” —Aamir R. Mufti Get the book: When buying the book do use other options like New or Used books from other marketplace sellers on Amazon. You can sometimes find books cheaper there. You could also look for the book in your local library as well. Venue Once you come out of Piccadilly Circus station, walk down Piccadilly street. Its a big Waterstones building and is unmissable. Take the lift to 5th floor and find us on the left wing of the floor, which is the coffee shop area. Book Club Rules * Reading the book is required, even if you read a single chapter. * Discussion is centered around the book and its theme. * No show is not appreciated. Please sign up if you are interested in reading and discussing books. In case you cannot make it anymore to the meeting, do let us know in time. Thanks Join our Facebook Group

5th Floor, Waterstones Piccadilly

203-206 Piccadilly, W1J 9LE · London

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