The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever ToldA Book of Profiles


  • Hardcover
  • 372 pages
  • The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever ToldA Book of Profiles
  • Muhammad Umar Memon
  • English
  • 19 November 2016
  • 9789383064076

10 thoughts on “The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever ToldA Book of Profiles

  1. Surabhi Sharma Surabhi Sharma says:

    The greatest Urdu stories ever told is one of the finest and rare short story collections I have ever read Every story in the anthology illustrates one or the other facet of life like death fear desire and povertyThe stories are uniue and exceptional and the fine translations by Muhammad Umar Memon make the experience of reading pleasurable I don’t know the Urdu language so it is my golden opportunity to read the stories in the language I understand The twenty five stories are the finest short fiction of Urdu literatureThe book is one of those you will cherish reading and would like to re read the stories It is one of those rare gems of literature you don’t want to miss having in your vast collection of books adorning your bookshelf This is undeniably a must readhttpsthereviewauthorcom


  2. Shreya Vaid Shreya Vaid says:

    Before I left for my holiday last week I spent some time with greatest Urdu writers of all time thanks to Umar Memon's translation of The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told I met my all time favorite Saadat Hasan Manto some new writers like Jamila Hashmi and some classic ones like Ismat Chughtai and Munshi Premchand I spent three beautiful days in the company of these great writers and a sad thing occurred to me that we have so many gems still lying to be discovered but we keep on running after the latest oneThe Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told comprises of twenty five stories translated by Umar Memon a writer and translator par excellence The book opens with an introduction from him where he traces the evolution of Urdu short stories Munshi Premchand was the first commercial Urdu story writer and from then on the Progressiveness settled in during 1930's when Urdu stories became bold and unabashedly political to the post independence era of modern writing to the today's generation of experimental writingApart from the techniue of the stories the most brilliant thing is the power and impact they can have on a reader It's like The Great Urdu Stories Ever Told is a different world in itself The world which gives you a different sense of calm and magic a strange sense of peaceA striking thing to see in these stories was that even when some of the stories are decades old you can witness the boldness of characters and thoughts in these brilliant writer's work They are open educated and experimental something which I wasn't expecting when I first picked up a copy of this bookThere are death and poverty looking at each other's face in Munshi Premchand's Shroud In The Wagon by Khalida Asghar's a mysterious color starts shrouding the sunset Saadat Hasan Manto's brings you the worst of partition through Toba Tek Singh a story which I read a few months back when I was reading short stories by Saadat Hasan MantoThe Greatest Urdu Stories ever told has the capability to embed itself into your mind and heart and you look forward to such stories to read The only thing that bugged me while I was reading it is that it's not everybody's cup of tea Some people may not have the aptitude to decipher the depth of these stories which risks this beautiful book But a true lover of stories would not miss this anywhere because it is brilliant and a must read


  3. Suraj Kumar Suraj Kumar says:

    Short stories are my all time favourite The obvious reason being their short length and their power to captivate the reader so uickly While it usually takes us 10 15 pages to get into a novel the short story often miraculously leaves us mesmerized within that span of pages I got this book about 4 5 months ago and I had been making my way through the anthology slowly and slowly enjoying one story at a timeThe anthology has 25 stories in all And each of the 25 stories in this anthology is a gem The book opens with an introduction by the editor where he acuaints the reader with the history of Urdu fiction short stories to be specific The Urdu fiction belongs to a realm that has hitherto remained in darkness for most of the English readers unless someone already has an interest in itThis anthology throws light on this world of Urdu fiction which has numberless pieces of writing to boast of These translations although very smooth can only give us an estimate of the real beauty of Urdu prose I enjoyed each and every story in the collection Each story was like a uniue experience to meThe stories in the collection come from all the spheres of life There’s a sense of longing in most of the stories While reading some stories I found my self to be mourning the loss of a harmonious and loving world that went missing during the partition and was never found perhaps no one made an attempt to find itHaving a partition story of my own family to think of and living in Punjab which is where most the stories are set in I could connect much deeply with these stories and their characters Although stories about riots appear to be dominating the collection there are several other stories that come from different areasThe stories in the collection are of varied length ranging from 4 to 40 pages long Most of the stories of the first half are longer and set in Punjab While the stories from the second half are shorter and take us to different locations from Mussourie through Calcutta to Australia and England The characters that appear in these stories are very much like the people around usMy favourite short stories from the collection are The Shroud Toba Tek Singh Laajwanti Aanandi Banished Beyond the Fog Fable of a Severed Head and The Vultures of the Parsi Cemetery There are many that I want to mention here but these stand our from the whole collectionI would again like to say that this anthology provides a uniue inexplicable experience an experience like the gush of hot wind that hits your face when you open your window in the month of June an experience as pleasant the smell of first few drops of the long awaited rain an experience that leaves one speechless It is a highly recommended bookMy Rating 55


  4. Karandeep Karandeep says:

    Oh what a book I'll give it a 5 If you belong to the Indian subcontinent then it should be on your 'Read' listSo many authors only a few I had previously read and having read a translation of their work in English I wish I could read Urdu or Hindi with so much ease as I in EnglishThe stories that stood out for me were Banished by Jamila Hashmi and The Shepherd by Ashfa AhmedYou've got to read them to be able to live the life we at some point have experienced either in anecdotes or as witness ourselves 


  5. Mahesh Sowani Mahesh Sowani says:

    The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told is undoubtedly a gathering of the finest stories I have ever read There are twenty five stories in this collection The introduction to the book by the translator is also worth being treasured It offers hereto unknown insights about Urdu stories I knew Munshi Premchand as one of the greatest writers in Hindi The introduction told me that he is the first professional short story writer in Urdu Now this completely shattered the image of the man who portrayed poverty in most of his poignant worksThe story which I liked the most is Beyond the Fog by urratulain Hyder Until now for me short stories were good only if they had a very strong emotional content I don’t mean to say that the aforesaid story lacks it But this story of rags to riches of a sweeper woman’s daughter is packed with entertainment uotient I could not control the mirth which aroused after reading this story This story for me is a course in story telling itself Purists may prune it aside saying this story tells and doesn’t show But as a reader I thoroughly enjoyed it Toba Tek Singh another story in the collection by Saddat Hasan Manto narrates the plight of lunatics in an asylum in pre partition India On partition the Hindu lunatics will be swapped for the Muslim lunatics in India This story is uest of a lunatic to know on which side of the border his town Toba Tek lies Premchand’s The Shroud is different from the rest of his work that I have read This story if of two lazy men a father and son They strangulate the humanity by feasting upon the funeral expenses of the wife of the son Obscure Domains of Fear and Desire by Naiyer Masud demonstrates how the mind both desires and undesires the desires In Rajinder Singh Bedi’s Laajwanti the wife who has returned from her captor says ‘He never hurt me And yet I was afraid of him You used to beat me but I never felt scared of you’Banished is another jewel in this collection by Jamila Hashmi In this story set amidst the turbulent times of partition Sitaji accepts the life with Ravan Anandi by Ghulam Abbas shows how remote areas turn into magnificent suburbs The Saga of Jaanki Raman Pandey is another masterpiece in this collection This is a tale of Muslim junior wife of a Hindu and the walls that stand between them the walls which are not pulled down even after his death A startling fact about this collection is that the stories sound very contemporary even after years of their publication In the Fable of a Severed Head by Sajid Rashid a family is left with a tough choice whether to admit that the head is of a family member who the police say was a terrorist The Vultures of Parsi Cemetery by Ali Imam Navi reflects how humanity is dying on the streets The Tree by Tassadu Sohail is about a tree which thinks there is nothing after death I really liked this story for its treatmentIsmat Chughtai’s Of Fists and Rubs is a hard hitting tale about botched up abortions carried out at home Poignancy disgust anger disbelief all this welled up inside my chest while reading this storyYes some of the stories are too prosaic and difficult to comprehend yet they are outnumbered by stories which are literary marvels I knew Urdu literature was rich But this book told me that it is prosperous beyond my imagination This book is surely not to be missed


  6. Preeti Ramaraj Preeti Ramaraj says:

    This book was just fantastic It made me realize that translated stories from the Indian subcontinent use so much context that you gave grown up with It is almost weird because there were certain paragraphs I read and I felt the shadow of movies I've seen or hindi or Marathi stories I read in school Obviously I wish I could read urdu to truly enjoy the language but the translation seems to be marvelous given that the stories felt as compelling If you are from India and you want to feel a little bit like you're back at home this is a highly recommended book If you just like reading interesting twists and takes on random things this is a good book too


  7. Sahifa Sahifa says:

    What a Gem I am totally moonstruck by this anthology I literally am My father is an Urdu Professor and writer and I was technically raised among scores of Urdu books My childhood was strewn with literary discussions of the highest uality and there I was aloof and lost in my own world of English literature This affinity towards english language held me back from all those Urdu jewels which remained unacknowledged by me for years Names like Sadat Hasan Manto and Ashfa Ahmad often crossed my ears and I did realized by the discussions taking place at my house that these men do hold some exceptional literary intellect but these fell on my deaf ears The numerous Urdu novels books and magazines in the little cozy library of our own kept gathering dust and I kept turning a blind eye towards themAnd one fine day as it was predestined to happen this book came as a gift to me from a very dear friend who shared the same love for books as I did with a beautiful note attached to it and hence began my first actual rendezvous with the birth and evolution of urdu literary traditions I was flabbergasted by the power of impact of each of the stories I am so influenced that I might remember few of them all through my life I read the book over a long period one story at a time and the perusal of this book invigorated me in the same manner as a fine uality tea re energizes its connoisseur each sip issuing the aroma and the malty aftertaste My hands are bound with the shoratage of space and words otherwise I would have let my ink flow in the praise of all these literary pearlsBut the a few of these pearls which I believe must not remain unnamed in this review are The Shephard by Ashfa Ahmad the story and the writer both succeeds in capturing a place in my heart Toba Tek Singh by Sadat Hasan Manto is an intellectual piece of work and maybe one of the best contributions to the partition literature Aanandi by Ghulam Abbas was both satirical and humorous at the same time and left me in fits of laughter The Saga of Jaanki Raman Pandey by Zakia Mashhadi gave birth to an all new thinking process in my mind a new perception of life Fable of a Severed head by Sajid Rashid was came as bitter truth and was really shockingThe Vultures of the Parsi Cemetry by Ali Imam Navi is again a brilliant piece of work in short story genreI am exhilarated and saddened at the same time The perusal of this work opened a whole new world of urdu literature for me and thats really amazingBut I also came face to face with the sad reality of the discouragement and the struggle of survival the urdu language is facing in our countryOnly time will tell that will these great works survive the tides of time or die a silent death


  8. Ashima Jain Ashima Jain says:

    Muhammad Umar Memon has selected and translated 25 short stories from what he considers the finest in Urdu literature In his introduction he traces the history and evolution of the Urdu short story format starting from Munshi Premchand the first professional short story writer in Urdu through the emergence of The Progressive Writers Movement the Partition the Modernist phase post independence and now to the avante garde experimental writers of today’s generationWhile each story represents some facet of Urdu literary tradition there is also a formal techniue and inventiveness What captures one’s attention though is the subject the story raises and its profound impact on the reader The stories included are authored by noted writers such as Munshi Premchand Khalida Asghar Saadat Hasan Manto Ismat Chugtai Rajinder Singh Bedi Naiyer Masud and several Most of these I have read for the first time Even as I started this book I realised I was unable to read than a couple of stories at a time They were violent passionate ironic humorous despairing They evoked extreme emotions and left an indelible imprint on my heart and mindThis was an intense and insightful introduction to Urdu literature


  9. Era Era says:

    This review was first published in The Era I Lived In Please head to the blog for a detailed reviewI believe this book deserves to be read and talked about widely because of a number of reasons you can read the details on my blog1 It's a beautiful book with a gorgeous cover and inspiring prose2 The book opens doors to the history of Urdu literary fiction3 The translation from Urdu has been done keeping in mind that the reader has little to no knowledge of Urdu The stories have retained their magic charm in the translated version4 The anthology is a kaleidoscope of emotions that surprise with their timeless freshness5 Despite 25 stories of varying lengths portraying different emotions it's almost impossible to pick a favourite Yes each story is impactful in its own rightIf you love anthologies and translated books that transcend beyond the barriers of time you must read this beautiful book


  10. Rajiv Chopra Rajiv Chopra says:

    This is indeed a good collection of short stories and I am indeed glad that this has been published Urdu has declined as a language in many parts of North Northwest India My father spoke it as did my grandfather Not meI have been rediscovering the works of Urdu poets and writers and it is indeed good that this book has been published because it serves to remind the public also in India that there are great stories to be found in my country in languages other than EnglishThe collection of stories itself is good Whether this is a collection of the greatest or among the greatest is a matter of debate Some of the stories shine through even with the limitations of the English language Stories like Lajwanti Toba Tek Singh etc are magnificent even in English Others suffer even though the translators have done a magnificent job It is definitely a book worth reading It has inspired me to hunt for the stories in Hindi sadly to add to my own collection To that extent Muhammad Umar Memon has performed a great service


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The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever ToldA Book of Profiles[Ebook] ➠ The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever ToldA Book of Profiles Author Muhammad Umar Memon – Thomashillier.co.uk Selected and translated by writer editor and translator par excellence Muhammad Umar Memon the twenty five stories in this book represent the finest short fiction in Urdu literature In his Introductio Selected and translated by writer editor and translator Urdu Stories PDF Å par excellence Muhammad Umar Memon the twenty five stories in this book represent the finest short fiction in Urdu literature In his Introduction Memon traces the evolution of the Urdu short story from its origins in the work of writers like Munshi Premchand the first professional short story writer in Urdu through the emergence of the Progressives in the late s whose writings were unabashedly political and underpinned their Marxist ideologies to the post Independence Modernist era and today s generation of The Greatest PDF/EPUB ² avant garde experimental writers of Urdu fiction Every story in the anthology illustrates one or the other facet of the form in the Urdu literary tradition But even than for their formal techniue and inventiveness these stories have been included because of their power and impact on the reader Death and poverty face off in Premchand's masterpiece The Shroud In Khalida Asghar's The Wagon a mysterious redness begins to cloak the sunset in a village by the Ravi Behind closed doors and cracks in the windows lies desire but also a Greatest Urdu Stories MOBI ð sense of ueer foreboding in Naiyer Masud's Obscure Domains of Fear and Desire The tragedy and horror of Partition are brought to life by Saadat Hasan Manto's lunatic in Toba Tek Singh and the eponymous heroine of Rajinder Singh Bedi's Laajwanti Despairing violent passionate humorous ironic and profound the fiction in The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told will imprint itself indelibly on your mind M U Memon is a translator without parallel and this book which brings together the best of short fiction in the literary Urdu tradition is sure to Greatest Urdu Stories Ever ToldA MOBI :↠ be classic This collection spans the entire spectrum of the Urdu literary tradition from Premchand who is considered the first Urdu short story writer to contemporary writers like S M Ashraf and Tassadu Sohail In The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told you will find much loved gems like Premchand's Kafan Rajinder Singh Bedi's Laajwanti Saadat Hasan Manto's Toba Tek Singh as well as new classics like Sajid Rashid's Fable of a Severed Head and Anwer Khan's The Pose This book is part of a continuing series that gave us the highly popular The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told.


About the Author: Muhammad Umar Memon

Muhammad Umar Memon is a critic short story Urdu Stories PDF Å writer renowned Urdu translator and editor of The Annual of Urdu Studies from Pakistan He is Professor Emeritus of Urdu Literature and Islamic Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison Dr Memon was born in Aligarh India in In his family moved to Karachi Pakistan where he earned his bachelors and masters degrees After his graduati.