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Between Clay And Dust Hardcover – May 17, 2012

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the most poignant, the most subtle, the most moving novel I have read in the past few years from this, or any, region. A natural storyteller, Farooqi imagines a world we thought we were familiar with and then pulls the rug out from under our feet." (The Caravan) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

In an old ruined city, emptied of most of its inhabitants, Ustad Ramzi, a famous wrestler past his prime, and Gohar Jan, a well-known courtesan whose kotha once attracted the wealthy and powerful, contemplate the former splendour of their lives and the ruthless currents of time and history that have swept them into oblivion. Powerful and haunting, Between Clay and Dust is a triumph of storytelling and a poignant exploration of love, honour, redemption, and the strength that great souls find to go on when all is lost. Available for the first time in Canada, Between Clay and Dust was a finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Aleph Book Company (May 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8192328015
  • ISBN-13: 978-8192328010
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,960,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vivek Tejuja on November 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What I love about reading is that you can always been taken by surprise. There is so much about the world that one is not aware of and reading varied genres ensures that probably one's mind and way of seeing things change. The ideas germinate themselves and sometimes you get to know of a history or an art that you never thought of casually.

"Between Clay and Dust" by Musharraf Ali Farooqi is one such book. I had received it earlier, however just got the time about a week ago to read and devour it. "Between Clay and Dust" is about the times gone by and arts that do not matter anymore. The story could be set in any time period. The author does not mention or give an indication of when the story begins and where is it set, which is what I liked a lot about the book. It is left to the reader to make sense of it.

The two art forms that the book is centered on are wrestling (the traditional way of the akhara and of clan and honour) and the singing and dancing girls and the wonders of the kotha (nautch girls more like it). The two protagonists of the book are Ustad Ramzi, the renowned and non-disputable wrestling champion of all time, and Gohar Jan, the courtesan of her times. Both their cultures and so-called heritage are dying and they can do nothing about it. They however somehow uncannily find solace in each other, which is not of a sexual kind (since the Ustad is celibate) but something that is beyond - of the understanding of loss.

On one hand we meet Tamami, Ustad Ramzi's younger brother who wants to be what Ustad is and tries very hard to gain his approval as a wrestler and somehow fails all the time. On the other, Farooqi takes us to the courtesan's way of life and the daily routine of the kotha. What I loved is the way this book is written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Brett on March 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful novel of codes of honor in a changing world. This is a novel of deep passion and love. In the great classical tradition there are the modern conniving of fake promoters and building code functionaries. And mercy and forgiveness in great guilt and grief. A great story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By naheed on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
this book was tender, sad and almost poetic. i thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it made me think about life long after the book was over.
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