Ahmed Ali (1910-1994), multitalented, bilingual writer, poet, scholar, translator, critic, and anthologist, is one of the stalwarts in the South Asian literary sphere. A founder of the All India Progressive Writer's Association (AIPWA) and best-known for the classic portrait of Delhi, Twilightin Delhi (1940), Ali's life and work is informed by a tremendous idealism that inspired a whole generation of writers and intellectuals. As a literary figure, he epitomized a compelling cosmopolitan sensibility and opened up the South Asian literary sphere to the West, easily bridging East-West boundaries through his modernist outlook and anti-parochial stance.
In this volume, Mehr Afshan Farooqi introduces us to Ali's world and brings together a judicious mix of biography, interviews, and critical essays by renowned contemporary scholars like Carlo Coppola, Ahmad Hal Rahim, and Shamsur Rehman Faruqi, which shed fascinating light on Ali's literary oeuvre as well as a tumultuous period of history that saw the demise of British colonial rule in India. With rare archival material and selections from Ali's work, including unpublished letters and essays, this comprehensive critical volume draws a well-rounded portrait of Ahmed Ali, the man and the genius, and gives new direction to the scholarly study of his work.
Mehr Afshan Farooqi is Assistant Professor of Urdu in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of Virginia. She is the editor of the two-volume Oxford India Anthology of Urdu Literature (2010).
Table of Contents
Introduction 'Truth of Fictions' by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi 'A Novel by Ahmed Ali' by Muhammad Hasan Askari 'Language Crossings: Dilli to Delhi through the World of Ahmed Ali' by Mehr Afshan Farooqi 'Ahmed Ali: Highlights from an Interview' by Carlo Coppola 'Evening, Twilight, then Night: The Short Fiction of Ahmed Ali' by Carlo Coppola 'Translation as Contemporary Quranic Exegesis: Ahmed Ali and Muslim Modernism' by Ahmed H. al Rahim 'Lavish Weddings and Nostalgic Delhis: Anti-Colonial Aesthetics in Ahmed Ali's Fiction' by Snehal Shingavi 'Ahmed Ali Chronology' FROM OUP ARCHIVES AND ALIANA: 'English in South Asia: A Historical Perspective'; 'In Defense of Angarey'; 'Dust Jacket of Twilight in Delhi'; 'Letter from Hogarth Press'; 'Reviews of First Edition of Twilight in Delhi' PHOTO ARCHIVE