Title : Manto: Selected Stories
Author : Sadat Hasan Manto
ISBN : 9788184000498
Publisher : Random House
Genre : Short Stories
Pages : 130
Source : Self
Rating : 4 stars
For those who don’t know, Saadat Hasan “Manto”, who wrote originally in Urdu, is considered as the greatest short story writer of the Indian subcontinent and he retains this position today even after 100 years of his birth.
The translation for this group of stories is done by the contemporary author Aatish Taseer who starts with a detailed introduction explaining what led him to start this work of translation.
The book has some famous stories (such as ‘Toba Tek Singh’) while others are less known (such as ‘For Freedom’s that I liked the most).
Most of the stories are set at Bombay (where Saadat lived before leaving for Pakistan) and describes the era of Independence struggle, Hindu Muslim riots and spread of communalism, Partition and its aftermath and India-Pakistan War.
Though as it is true for every translated work, you can easily make out that the essence has been lost but Taseer has done a phenomenal job in some stories like For Freedom and My Name is Radha.
Manto was a bold and upfront writer and never shied away from portraying sex, passion and infidelity with a slight touch of eroticism and no wonder he was tried for 5 times for obscenity in his works.
The stories are short (10-30 pages) and will give you a fair amount of insight about the daily life and struggle of our countrymen during one of the most phenomenal yet tragic time in the Indian History.
Highly recommended. Buy a copy for yourself at Amazon yourself