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Intizar Husain (b. 1923) is a journalist, short-story writer, and novelist, widely considered the most significant living fiction writer in Urdu. Born in Dibai, Bulandshahr, in British-administered India, he migrated to Pakistan in 1947 and currently lives in Lahore. His other titles in English include Leaves, The Seventh Door, A Chronicle of the Peacocks, and An Unwritten Epic. Frances W. Pritchett has taught South Asian literature at Columbia University since 1982. Her books include Nets of Awareness: Urdu Poetry and Its Critics, The Romance Tradition in Urdu: Adventures from the Dastan of Amir Hamzah, and (with Khaliq Ahmad Khaliq) Urdu Meter: A Practical Handbook.
'At its best Basti is deftly written and transalated ... one can see why Husain is regarded as one of Pakistain's finest writers and is nominated for this year's man Booker International Prize.' Times Literary Supplement 'sensuous reworking of vernacular modes, and his intricate metaphysics, are effectively deployed in his novel. This trademark use of what might crudely be termed magic realism adds not just a dimension of timelessness and universality, but also a subversive exoticism that foreign readers might find seductive long after the topicality of contemporary fiction from Pakistan recedes.' The Independent