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Mottled Dawn; Fifty Sketches and Stories of Partition Paperback – May 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

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The undisputed master of the modern Indian short story. --Salman Rushdie

Manto s stories will endure as perhaps the best work of fiction on the Partition and its painful impact on the Indo-Pak ethos... --Indian Express

There is still no literary rival to Manto...(and) as communalism, religious intolerance and enmity between India and Pakistan continue to grow, his stories are still highly relevant. --Independent

Manto s stories will endure as perhaps the best work of fiction on the Partition and its painful impact on the Indo-Pak ethos... --Indian Express

There is still no literary rival to Manto...(and) as communalism, religious intolerance and enmity between India and Pakistan continue to grow, his stories are still highly relevant. --Independent

About the Author

Saadat Hasan Manto, the most widely read and the most controversial short-story writer in Urdu, was born on 11 May 1912 at Samrala in Punjab s Ludhiana district.

In a literary, journalistic, radio scripting and film-writing career spread over more than two decades, he produced twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three collections of essays, two collections of personal sketches and many scripts for films.

He was tried for obscenity half a dozen times, thrice before and thrice after independence. Some of Manto s greatest work was produced in the last seven years of his life, a time of great financial and emotional hardship for him.

He died several months short of his forty-third birthday, in January 1955, in Lahore.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140272127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140272123
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,530,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Manto a writer dismissed by the critics of his time as heretic; has proven them wrong by showing his real ingenuity in writing short stories with the utmost wit and flair for ironical humor. The "Mottled Dawn" which comprises a fair selection of 50 sketches and short stories are an entertaining read. He is a disturbing writer who shocks the reader with his candidness, sometimes with his crudity. Whether he writes of sex or the life of prostitutes, on social or on political issues, his stories are full of fire. His frankness greatly agitated the self-styled moralists of his day he had to face charges of obscenity against several of his stories in the court. Discarding emotionalism and slogans, Manto adopted a plain, realistic style with which he explores the depths of human psychology. His stories about the 1947 killings and disturbances are a moving record of the period. Their grim realism evokes the tensions and tragedy of the time with powerful directness. . Manto has the ability to take on the suffering and the painful experience by the people during partition and present it in a very conscise manner without making the story either dramatic or tragic.

Manto's protagonists are prostitutes, mentally insane inmates, criminals, poor people and beggars. His works evoke a great love for humanity and a sharp analysis of contemporary crises. According to Usman, Manto's characters "belong to a working-class world. His prostitute can be pious. His pimp can be honest. His street tough has a kind heart. His factory workers are revolutionaries. But at the same time, he is a realist. He can show the worst crimes and can immortalise the bloody partition of India in his writings."

Manto wrote about anti-imperialism, religious oppression and social misery.
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