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Pakistan's finest women writers - Jamila Hashmi, Mumtaz Shirin, and Fahmida Riaz, amongst others - introduce us to the compelling cadences of a rich literary culture. A naive peasant is left with a white man's baby; a frustrated housewife slashes her husband's silk pyjamas; a middle-class woman sees visions of salvation in the tricks of circus animals … Equally at ease with polemic and lyricism, these writers mirror the events of their convoluted history - nationalism and independence, wars with India, the creation of Bangladesh, the ethnic conflicts in Karachi - in innovative and courageous forms. Influenced both by the Indian and Islamic traditions of their milieu and by the shocking impact of modernity, they are distinguished above all by their artistic integrity and intellectual honesty. 'An excellent anthology by Urdu's foremost women writers' Muneeza Shamsie, Newsline 'I hope that this engaging and diverse work will encourage other translations of contemporary Pakistani fiction.' SOAS bulletin