There is growing literary landscape of Pakistani Writing in English (PWE) that has found its way into the reader’s hearts. It is the whole idea of literature opening gateways to out-of-reach destinations. Jai Arjun Singh of Business Standard explores the new interest. See below:
Pakistani writing in English is finding new and dynamic ways to chronicle the many different realities of the country.
“Good literature tells you so many things about other lives,” says Nadeem Aslam in his characteristic soft tone. We’re sitting on the lawns of Jaipur’s Diggi Palace, where the annual literature festival is being held, and the eloquent Pakistani author is talking about how his relationship with Latin America began when he read Marquez for the first time — and how “the 400 pages of One Hundred Years of Solitude made me deeply interested in the lives of millions of people in countries I had never visited”
Aslam himself is part of a growing literary landscape —that of Pakistani Writing in English (PWE) — and the idea of literature opening gateways to other worlds and other people (or, equally importantly, showing that the “other” isn’t so unlike us) has become increasingly relevant here. While Pakistani Anglophone writers like Aamer Hussain, Kamila Shamsie, Uzma Aslam Khan and Mohsin Hamid have been around for a while, the publishing world is seeing the advent of exciting new names such as Daniyal Mueenuddin, Mohammed Hanif and Ali Sethi. In different ways, the work of all these writers reveals the heterogeneity of Pakistan, a country that is frequently stereotyped and tarred with a single brush by the international community. It also suggests that literature’s ability to help us understand and empathise is of vital importance at the present moment.
Read the full article.