Sharp, witty and provocative stories by India’s most famous feminist author, with an introduction by Kamila Shamsie
Lifting the Veil is a bold and irreverent collection of writing from India’s most controversial feminist writer. These stories celebrate life in all its complexities: from a woman who refuses marriage to a man she loves to preserve her freedom, to a Hindu and a Muslim teenager pulled apart by societal pressures, to eye-opening personal accounts of the charges of obscenity the author faced in court for pieces in this book.
Wickedly funny and unflinchingly honest, Lifting the Veil explores the power of female sexuality while slyly mocking the subtle tyrannies of middle-class life. In 1940s India, an unlikely setting for female rebellion, Ismat Chughtai was a rare and radical storyteller born years ahead of her time.
About the author
Ismat Chughtai (1911–91) was Urdu’s most courageous and controversial woman writer in the twentieth century. She carved a niche for herself among her contemporaries of Urdu fiction writers—Rajinder Singh Bedi, Saadat Hasan Manto and Krishan Chander—by introducing areas of experience not explored before. Her work not only transformed the complexion of Urdu fiction but also brought about an attitudinal change in the assessment of literary works. Although a spirited member of the Progressive Writers’ Movement in India, she spoke vehemently against its orthodoxy and inflexibility. Often perceived as a feminist writer, Chughtai explored female sexuality while also exploring other dimensions of social and existential reality.
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