A Chronicle of the Peacocks: Stories of Partition, Exile and Lost Memories

Hussain, Intizar
Bhalla, Alok
Adil, Vishwamitar
Oxford University Press
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From Amazon: Sharing Intizar Husain's unique understanding of Muslim identity in the Indian subcontinent, the fifteen stories in this volume draw freely and imaginatively upon the rich narrative traditions of Hindu and Buddhist mythologies. Husain uses these sources to reflect upon religious faith and identity, historical truth and moral delusions, power and the endless failure of reason. Stories like The Jungle of the Gonds , Barium Carbonate and A Letter from India, not only enact Husain s nightmare about the Partition, but are also examples of how atrocious our lives can become when our social, moral and religious imagination fails. For example, The City of Sorrows contains repeated instances of brutal and degrading horror. Nevertheless, Husain attempts to retrieve all that was good in pre-Partition India, all the while analysing the causes of evil within man and his circumstances. The introduction offers a comprehensive analysis of Husain's craft and emphasizes the strong historical awareness that underpins a genius who, although shadowed by violent experiences, has not been overcome by them.