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Fireflies in the Mist Paperback – November 28, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this blisteringly intelligent if structurally suspect novel, Hyder (1926–2007) explores Dhaka's turbulent 20th century and its violent transformations from a British-ruled Indian city to capital of an independent Bangladesh. The story centers on several students from Bengal's middle and wealthy classes, who in the late 1930s begin flirting with Marxism and dreams of freeing India from British rule. They are male and female, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and atheist, and their divergent family histories showcase a blended culture, the epitome of which is a crucial romance between Deepali, a daring Hindu girl, and Rehan, a suave, London School of Economics–educated Muslim rebel. Though their radical political gestures are less convincing than their mutual attraction, it is their political ideology, much more than religion or class bias, that defines their generation and separates it from the previous one. The novel is rich with historical and socioeconomic analysis, and though Hyder has trouble integrating everything into a cohesive narrative, the resulting story--clumsy, illuminating, challenging, digressive--begs to be savored less for its moving parts than for its sociopolitical commentary and Hyder's love for Bengal.
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“A wonderful writer. She pairs enormous erudition with a careful eye to detail. Hers is one of the most important Indian voices of the 20th century.” (Amitav Ghosh)

“Qurratulain Hyder has a place alongside her exact contemporaries, Milan Kundera and Gabriel García Márquez, as one of the world’s major living authors.” (Times Literary Supplement)

“In confidently writing about India’s Buddhist and Hindu past, Hyder, a Muslim by birth, also provides an example of the secular literary culture of the subcontinent that has largely remained untainted by sectarian tensions.” (The New York Review of Books)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (November 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811218651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811218658
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SNAP on August 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Qurratulain Hyder is one of the few amazing writers, editors, translators of Urdu literature. I just am amazed how many people don't seem to know of her. The introduction written by Aamer Hussein offers such an amazing insight into her personality and life. I had not heard of Aamer Hussein, so will be getting some of his works to check him out.
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