Twilight in Delhi

Twilight in Delhi

by Ahmed Ali
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The sounds and smells of Delhi—the flutter of pigeons' wings, the call to prayer, the scent of jasmine and frying ghee—come to life in the novel whose detail E.M. Forster called "new and fascinating" upon its original publication in 1940. Reprinted with a revised introduction by the author, Twilight in Delhi is enacted between two revolutionary

Overview

The sounds and smells of Delhi—the flutter of pigeons' wings, the call to prayer, the scent of jasmine and frying ghee—come to life in the novel whose detail E.M. Forster called "new and fascinating" upon its original publication in 1940. Reprinted with a revised introduction by the author, Twilight in Delhi is enacted between two revolutionary momen s of change, depicting the change of a way of life and culture.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“A perfect novel, the more valuable for its unique subject.”
E.M. Forster
“It is beautifully written and very moving...At the end one has a poignant feeling that poetry and daily life have got parted, and will never come together again.”
Siddhartha Deb
“A marvelous novel, where a world being extinguished by modernity is illuminated in a parting gaze that possesses both clarity and warmth.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As literature, Ali's first novel is reasonably interesting, a sort of awkwardly written, Delhi-based Buddenbrooks . As history and cultural record, though, it is fascinating. Originally published in Britain in 1940 and making its first appearance in the U.S., Twilight concerns the upper-class Muslim merchant Mir Nihal and his extended family. Mir Nihal and his wife were young children during the 1857 Mutiny and the resultant brutality on both sides. Now, in 1911, two of their sons work in government offices and the third one wears English shirts and shoes--a sure sign of Delhi's imminent demise. Even the present crop of anti-British activists are beyond Mir Nihal's ken--``He was one of those who had believed in fighting with naked swords in their hands. The young only agitated.'' Mir Nihal's intense nationalism often seems ahistorical in retrospect--Hindu feeling ran just as strongly against Muslim ``occupiers'' once the hated English left. The real residual power of the mogul golden age is not political (the surviving descendants of Bahadur Shah are all beggars and cripples) but cultural, and Ali's book is first and foremost a tender record of traditional family ceremonies, of kite battles and the old aristocratic hobby of pigeon flying. The cries of the pigeon flyers are the ubi sunt accompanying Ali's portrayal of the parallel decline of Mir Nihal's family and of mogul Delhi. (June)
Edwin Muir
"The writing produces a curiously pictoral effect, yet is itself as clear as water. The end, where innocense is drowned by experience, is intensely moving." -- The Listener

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811212670
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
06/28/1994
Series:
Paperbook Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
553,662
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Forrester
"It is beautifully written and very moving....at the end one has a poignant feeling that poetry and daily life have got parted, and will never come together again."

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >