A Finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize, a moving and beautifully told story set in a the tumultuous days after the Partition of India and Pakistan, about a wrestling champion and a courtesan struggling to hold onto the world they knew amidst the eruptions of history.
In a ruined city after the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Ustad Ramzi is still famed as a wrestler of unparalleled strength and technique. But now Ramzi’s power—if not his indomitable will—is on the wane, while his younger brother Tamami, unconcerned with traditions and hierarchy, hungers for immediate fame and glory at the risk of family honor.
The courtesan Gohar Jan was once celebrated throughout the country for her beauty and the seductive power of her singing, her salon thronged by nobles, rich men, and infatuated admirers. But the aging Gohar Jan’s world is changing, too. Ustad Ramzi and Gohar Jan are both beloved paragons of a world that no longer exists, in a bewildering new reality indifferent to their art.
Shortlisted for The Man Asian Literary Prize, acclaimed Pakistani author Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s novel is a bracing and elegant story of two extraordinary characters in the twilight of their lives who stand resolute as the society they've known crumbles around them. Between Clay and Dust is an arresting account of love, honor, betrayal, and the ways in which we wrestle with history.