Courtesans' Quarter: A Translation of Bazaar-e-Husn

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Oxford University Press, 2003 - Literary Collections - 260 pages
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Courtesans' Quarter is a translation of the Urdu classic Bazaar-e-Husn, first published in 1917 by one of the finest Hindi novelists, Munshi Premchand. It tells the story of a beautiful and ambitious woman trapped under the harsh constraints imposed on women in 1930s India. Forced into prostitution, she finds herself suffering under the bitter condemnation of the society whose rules she thought to escape. Through the lens of village life, the novel presents a complex panorama of human emotion and cultural paradoxes. Amina Azfar's sensitive translation preserves the simple clarity and impact of the original text. Detailed explanatory notes and an outline of Premchand's literary career will further add to the readers appreciation of this remarkable novel.

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About the author (2003)

Premchand was the pen name adopted by the Hindi writer Dhanpat Rai who was born on 31 July 1880 at Lamati near Varansi. During a prolific career he wrote almost 250 short stories and twelve novels including Seva Saan, Rangamanch, Ghaban, Nirmala, Bazaar-e-Husn and Godan. Premchand was not onlya great novelist, but a social reformer and thinker who saw literature as a powerful means of educating public opinion. He championed social equality and the principle of hate the sin, not the sinner. Since his death in 1936, Premchand has been recognised by scholars as one of the key writers of thetwentiteth century. Amina Azfar is a freelance editor, writer and translator. she reviews boks and has worked as an English language teaher. She has also developed ELT material, and written textbooks for children in both English and Urdu.

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