50% Off

A Very Strange Man


4 in stock

AuthorIsmat Chughtai (Translated from Urdu by Tahira Naqvi)
Published LanguageEnglish
Publication Year2018
PublisherSpeaking Tiger & Women Unlimited
Ships By2-3 days
SKU: ST-251 Categories: , ,


?In this novel, Chughtai?whose reputation as a celebrated and controversial icon of Urdu fiction rivalled Manto?s?told the story of the Bombay film world of the ?50s. There hadn?t been a more dramatic and candid account of the tangled emotional lives of Bollywood before this. There hasn?t been another since.??Jerry Pinto

This brilliant translation of Ismat Chughtai?s original Urdu novel Ajeeb Aadmi is the riveting story of Dharam Dev, the famous actor, director and producer, and his all-consuming and doomed passion for Zarina Jamal, the young dancer from Madras whom he brings to Bombay and transforms into a charismatic actress. He looks on in anguish as his betrayed wife, Mangala, a well-known playback singer, sinks slowly into alcoholism. When Zarina abandons him, he is overwrought and dies of an overdose, friendless and alone.

In an interview, Chughtai described this novel about the Bombay film industry as a story based on the life of a producer-director who killed himself after the dancer he had made into a star left him in the lurch. ?I go into why he commits suicide,? she said, ?why girls run after him and producers like him, and the hell they make for these men and for their wives.?

This irreverent, sharply observed narrative of infatuation and ambition is vintage Chughtai.

About the author
Ismat Chughtai was born in 1915 in Badayun and is counted among the earliest and foremost women Urdu writers. She focused on women?s issues with a directness and intensity unparalleled in Urdu literature among writers of her generation. She is the author of several collections of short stories, novellas, a novel, Terhi Lakir (The Crooked Line), a collection of reminiscences and essays, My Friend, My Enemy, and a memoir, Kaghazi Hai Perahan (The Paper-thin Garment). With her husband, Shahid Latif, a film director, she produced and co-directed six films, and produced a further six, independently, after his death.Tahira Naqvi, a translator of Urdu fiction and prose, taught English for twenty years, has taught Urdu at Columbia, and now heads the Urdu programme at New York University. She has translated Ismat Chughtai?s short stories, her novel and her essays. She has also translated the works of Khadija Mastur, Sa?dat Hasan Manto and Munshi Premchand.Naqvi also writes fiction in English. She has published two collections of short fiction, Attar of Roses and Other Stories of Pakistan and Dying in a Strange Country. Her short stories have been widely anthologized.

Additional information



Published Language

Publication Year





Ships By

2-3 days