By Intizar Husain

ISBN-10: 1590175824

ISBN-13: 9781590175828

An NYRB Classics Original

Basti is a superbly written reckoning with the tragic historical past of Pakistan. Basti capacity payment, a typical position, and Intizar Husain’s outstanding novel starts off with a mythic, even mystic, imaginative and prescient of concord among young and old, guy and girl, Muslim and Hindu. Then Zakir, the hero, wakes to the fashionable global. Crowds assemble. Slogans echo. towns burn. even if hunkered down with relations or furtively assembly to replace information with pals in cafés, Zakir is by myself in a rustic misplaced to the politics of loneliness.

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Sample text

In his speech, Braby reminded the team that it was too early for congratulations, there was far more work to be done, but he wanted everyone to see just how far the project had progressed, and how revolutionary it would be. With uncustomary lyricism, he summoned an image of a townscape, as seen from a nearby hill, and five thousand roofs glittering in the setting sun with the gyrations of their silver turbines, far more beautiful, he thought, than the TV aerials that had transformed the urban prospect in the nineteen fifties.

He had an overview then, and they became a feature of his week, these afternoons in the Arctic dusk, when he reminded himself over the cocoa that his life was about to empty out and that he must begin again, take himself in hand, lose weight, get fit, live in a simple, organised style. And get serious at last about work, though he had no idea what work he could do that was not detached from or eased by his peculiar fame. Must he give forever the same lecture series about his one small contribution, sit on committees, be a Presence?

Around him, clouds of blue smoke, and high-pitched roars, the proper expression at last of full-throated panic. Already, half the party was shooting away in the direction of the ship. It was every-man-forhimself. Beard wasted no energy cursing. He pulled out the choke lever, though he knew it was a mistake, for the engine was still warm. He tried again. And again, nothing. He smelled petrol. He had flooded the engine and he deserved to die. Now all the others had gone, along with the guide, whose dereliction of duty Beard resolved to report to Pickett, or the King of Norway.

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Basti by Intizar Husain


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