Musings of a Reader: New Trends in Contemporary Pakistani Fiction in English

Published in the 15th issue of Zau magazine in May 2016

Before I came to the US to study Comparative Literature, I was sure that I would not be focusing on Pakistani literature in English as my academic area of research. Sure, I liked most of the novels I read, but I didn’t feel like they compared to the other great works of World Literature that I read and enjoyed and that blew my mind so much more than the Pakistani novels. Since I came here, however, I’ve been rethinking this. Because, regardless of literary merit, it is still important to study the literature being produced in English in Pakistan and to figure out how we can think of them in a broader world literary system, how they might fit into our conceptions of postcolonial or even transnational literature, and what it can tell us about Pakistan as a society in all its complexity.

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Sexism in Literature

Quick, off the top of your head, name five books that have gotten critical acclaim recently. Chances are the books you’ve named are mostly those written by a male author. ‘But that’s just because I read genres that are more male-dominated,’ you might argue.

Or, ‘Well, men write better books than women.’ Such arguments are overly simplistic (not to mention misogynistic, in the case of the latter) and ignore the deep-rooted sexism that is prevalent in the world of literature today.

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