19 April, 2021

The Indus In Spate: A Book Of Omens

Granta luxuriates in the remarkable flourish in English writing from a land divided by the faultlines of extremism

The Indus In Spate: A Book Of Omens

Granta has established a well-deserved reputation for the excellence of its contents. This, its 112th issue, is devoted to English writing in Pakistan and is illustrated by paintings and photographs of the country. The issue has been put together by John Freeman, an American who was appointed editor of Granta in May 2009 and had said in an interview then: “Culturally, financially, and metaphorically, we don’t live in an Anglo-American world anymore.... We need to find writers outside of the English language...especially the Middle East, Africa and Asia.” Freeman has put together a memorable issue, a must-read for anyone who wants to know the life, politics and literature of present-day Pakistan.

Some contributors are well-known: Intizar Hussain, Mohsin Hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Fatima Bhutto, Basharat Peer, Kamila Shamsie and others. This issue opens with a long short story, Leila in the Wilderness, by Nadeem Aslam (pictured above). It is a masterpiece that gives a fair assessment of the mental...

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