The Story of a Widow
The Story of a Widow
by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
“This is a gem of a book and the author is a real find. At last the subcontinent can rejoice in having acquired its own avatar of the iconic Jane Austen...Here is the same keen observation of social mores, the sympathy for human foibles, the rapier-like wit that makes one laugh aloud and the simple, elegant prose in which it is all expressed.”
eBook List Price: $14.99 • ISBN: 9780989983204 • Publication: 10/15/13 • Fiction / South Asia / Pakistani Literature
About the Book
After the death of her husband, Akbar Ahmad, Mona finds herself settling ambivalently into a new life. But the calm rhythm of her days—gardening, cooking, spending time with her neighbors and family in Karachi—is upset by the appearance of Salamat Ali, the new tenant in her friend Mrs. Baig’s house. Vivacious, friendly, and, at times, impertinent, Salamat Ali is both a breath of fresh air and a disconcerting new presence in Mona’s life. When Salamat Ali, encouraged by Mrs. Baig, presents Mona with a marriage proposal, she is forced to reconsider her past with Akbar Ahmad, and envision the future she wishes to make with her new suitor. As Mona negotiates the complex web of tradition-bound in-laws and gossiping, interfering relatives, she finds Salamat Ali waking her to the pleasures of life that thirty years with her dour first husband all but smothered. But if Salamat Ali helps her discover something so new and essential, he also exposes her to the danger of transgressing old traditions.
The Story of a Widow is a beautifully observant novel that pays careful attention to the delicate movements of the heart in romantic and family life. But it is equally concerned with the mores of a society whose conventions constrain men and, particularly, women. Gently humorous, profoundly perceptive, and exceedingly clever in its cultural critique, The Story of a Widow is Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s modern answer to the Victorian novel.
“Tender, heartwarming and unabashedly sentimental, in Mona, Farooqi has created everyone’s ideal woman: she can make you laugh and cry on the same page. The Story of A Widow is an ultra-realistic miniature in which Farooqi has evoked the tribulations of extended families and mid-life with sparse prose. If Jane Austen had grown up in a Karachi suburb, this is what she would have written.”
—Mohammed Hanif, author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes
“A marvelous novel.”
—The Sunday Guardian
“This is a gem of a book and the author is a real find. At last the subcontinent can rejoice in having acquired its own avatar of the iconic Jane Austen who, with a mere half-a-dozen novels to her credit, introduced the world to a new style of literature rooted in the seemingly mundane, but breathtaking in its insights and delightful in its humour. Musharraf Ali Farooqi is an able successor in this genre. Here is the same keen observation of social mores, the sympathy for human foibles, the rapier-like wit that makes one laugh aloud and the simple, elegant prose in which it is all expressed.”
About the Author
Musharraf Ali Farooqi is an author, novelist, and translator. He was born in 1968 in Hyderabad, Pakistan, and now divides his time between Toronto and Karachi. His acclaimed new novel, Between Clay and Dust, was shortlisted for The Man Asian Literary Prize 2012 and longlisted for the 2013 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. In 2015, Restless Books will publish Farooqi's second novel, The Story of a Widow, which was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2011 and longlisted for the 2010 IMPAC-Dublin Literary Award. His most recent children's fiction is the novel Tik-Tik, The Master of Time, Pakistan's first English-language novel for children. His other children's fiction includes the picture book The Cobbler's Holiday Or Why Ants Don't Wear Shoes and the collection The Amazing Moustaches of Mocchhander the Iron Man and Other Stories, shortlisted for the India ComicCon award in the Best Publication for Children category. He is the author of the critically acclaimed translations of Urdu classics, The Adventures of Amir Hamza, and the first book of a projected 24-volume magical fantasy epic, Hoshruba. Find out more at his website.
More Books by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
A finalist for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize
"The book works like an ache in the heart.... A story that purports to be about decay resounds with the stuff of life. This is a book to be savored like a fine single malt."
"A crisp and elegiac novel….Farooqi’s atmospheric prose is spare and lucid."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Paperback List Price: $14.99 • ISBN: 9781632060372 • Publication: 9/8/15 • 5.5” x 8.25” • 216 pages • Fiction / South Asia / Pakistani Literature • Territory: U.S. • eBook List Price: $14.99