Qurratulain Hyder is a wonderful writer. She pairs enormous erudition with a careful eye to detail. Hers is one of the most important Indian voices of the twentieth century.

—Amitav Ghosh

“Magisterial” (Pankaj Mishra, The New York Review of Books) and “to Urdu fiction what One Hundred Years of Solitude is to Hispanic literature” (TLS)

River of Fire

Fiction by Qurratulain Hyder

The most important novel of twentieth-century Urdu fiction, Qurratulain Hyder’s River of Fire encompasses the fates of four recurring characters over two and a half millennia. These characters become crisscrossed and strangely inseparable over different eras, forming and reforming their relationships in romance and war, in possession and dispossession. River of Fire interweaves parables, legends, dreams, diaries, and letters, forming a rich tapestry of history and human emotions and redefining Indian identity. But above all, it’s a unique pleasure to read Hyder’s singular prose style: “Lyrical and witty, occasionally idiosyncratic, it is always alluring and allusive: Flora Annie Steel and E. M. Forster encounter classical Urdu poets; Eliot and Virginia Woolf meet Faiz Ahmed Faiz” (The Times Literary Supplement).

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Paperback (published March 26, 2019)

ISBN
9780811222198
Price US
19.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
448

Ebook

ISBN
9780811204422

Qurratulain Hyder

Indian novelist, academic and journalist

Qurratulain Hyder is a wonderful writer. She pairs enormous erudition with a careful eye to detail. Hers is one of the most important Indian voices of the twentieth century.

—Amitav Ghosh

River of Fire gushes across more than 2,000 years of subcontinental history, carving narrative mountains and valleys for us to hike across. It floods us with details: names, philosophies, politics, religion, the history of Urdu literature. Each time the water recedes, Hyder’s characters are left parched with nostalgia, to be quenched only when the river is next in spate. It takes inventive writing to evoke such a seasonal narrative.

—Aditi Sriram, The New York Times

A sprawling, postmodern epic, a radical history of the subcontinent which draws on two millennia of history in a vivid demonstration that Euro-American civilization doesn’t have a monopoly on progress or cosmopolitanism, a towering fictional achievement which summons up a country in flux and casts a steely eye over the myths of colonialism. Hyder successfully weaves this fictional universe together with a cast of characters that’s not only diverse but also most intriguing.

—The Guardian