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Why I Write

Why I Write

Essays by Saadat Hasan Manto (Includes two new essays)

Aakar Patel
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One of the greatest raconteurs of 20th century, Saadat Hasan Manto declared that he was forced to write when his wife routinely demanded that he put bread on the table for the family. He didn’t attribute any genius to his skills as a writer and convinced his readers that the stories flowed even as he minded his daughters or tossed a salad. Equally, Manto treated his tryst with Bollywood with disdain and unmasked the cardboard lives of tinsel town when a horse was painted to double up for a zebra or multiple fans rotate to create a deluge.
In these essays, two of Manto’s favourite and recurring themes-women and Partition-find special mention as he brings to focus the bizarre morality in the context of feminine beauty and the futile presence of religiosity in the creation of a nation he was to adopt later in life. For the first time ever, this unique collection of nonfiction writing from the subcontinent’s greatest writer, translated by well known author and journalist, Aakar Patel, showcases Saadat Hasan Manto’s brilliance while dealing with life’s most mundane things-graveyards, bumming cigarettes, a film crew with motley characters from mythology and a sharp dissection of what ails the subcontinent even after six decades, Hindi or Urdu, vile politicians and the hopelessness of living under the shadow of fear.

Imprint: Vintage Books

Published: Mar/2023

ISBN: 9780143458524

Length : 256 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

Why I Write

Essays by Saadat Hasan Manto (Includes two new essays)

Aakar Patel

One of the greatest raconteurs of 20th century, Saadat Hasan Manto declared that he was forced to write when his wife routinely demanded that he put bread on the table for the family. He didn’t attribute any genius to his skills as a writer and convinced his readers that the stories flowed even as he minded his daughters or tossed a salad. Equally, Manto treated his tryst with Bollywood with disdain and unmasked the cardboard lives of tinsel town when a horse was painted to double up for a zebra or multiple fans rotate to create a deluge.
In these essays, two of Manto’s favourite and recurring themes-women and Partition-find special mention as he brings to focus the bizarre morality in the context of feminine beauty and the futile presence of religiosity in the creation of a nation he was to adopt later in life. For the first time ever, this unique collection of nonfiction writing from the subcontinent’s greatest writer, translated by well known author and journalist, Aakar Patel, showcases Saadat Hasan Manto’s brilliance while dealing with life’s most mundane things-graveyards, bumming cigarettes, a film crew with motley characters from mythology and a sharp dissection of what ails the subcontinent even after six decades, Hindi or Urdu, vile politicians and the hopelessness of living under the shadow of fear.

Buying Options
Paperback / Hardback

Aakar Patel

Aakar Patel is a syndicated columnist who has edited English and Gujarati newspapers. His translation of Saadat Hasan Manto's Urdu non-fiction, Why I Write, was published in 2014. His study of majoritarianism in India, Our Hindu Rashtra: What It Is. How We Got Here, was published in 2020. And his analysis of India's performance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Price of the Modi Years, was published in 2021. He is chair of Amnesty International India.

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