Twilight in Delhi

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.

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811212670
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/28/1994
  • Series: Paperbook Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 782,577
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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