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FIREFLIES IN THE MIST
Qurratulain Hyder

Rs 350 Pb 2008
81-88965-52-9
(US rights sold. All others available.)
Ambitious, subtle and intricately structured, Fireflies spans nearly four decades of East Bengal's history , from the dawn of nationalism to the restless aftermath of the bloody struggle for an independent Bangladesh.

At the heart of this many-centred novel is Deepali Sarkar, a young Hindu attracted to the extreme left wing of the nationalist movement, and Rehan Ahmed, a Muslim radical of Marxist inclinations who introduces her to the life of the rural deprived. Their common political engagement draws them into a quietly doomed love affair. Through their relationship, Hyder explores the growth of tension between Bengal’s Hindus and Muslims who had once shared a culture and a history.

“History,” says Hyder, “is another name for humanity’s inability to learn its lesson.” Lit by the flare of Hyder’s prose, history is captured in the glow of the firefly’s wing, unfolding in the lives of her characters as they try to come to terms with their own and Bengal's shifting fortunes.

QURRATULAIN HYDER
is one of Urdu’s greatest fiction writers. Her published work consists of four collections of short stories, five novels and several novellas. She was a journalist, scriptwriter and broadcaster with BBC, as well as Producer Emeritus, AIR, and copywriter for an advertising agency. She was awarded the Padma Shri, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the prestigious Jnanpith, in 1989, for this novel.
 
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