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, Twilight in 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 With rare archival material and selections from Ali's work, including unpublished letters and essays, this comprehensive critical volume draws a well-rounded portrait of Ahmed Ali, the man and the genius, and gives new direction to the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.