Between Clay and Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqi Category: Fiction Publisher: Aleph Book Company (2012)

Book Summary

Shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2012.


In an old ruined city, emptied of most of its inhabitants, Ustad Ramzi, a famous wrestler past his prime, and Gohar Jan, a well-known courtesan whose kotha once attracted the wealthy and the eminent, contemplate the former splendour of their lives and the ruthless currents of time and history that have swept them into oblivion.

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Ustad Ramzi was the head of a pahalwan clan and the custodian of a wrestlers’ akhara. He was a man of frugal speech and austere habits, and appeared to some a stern man. His imposing stature, a heavyset jaw, and upturned whiskers reinforced that im..

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Praise for the Book
  • " The most soulful novel to come out of the subcontinent in a while, from Pakistan’s most natural storyteller. "- Faiza Sultan Khan

  • " A privileged peek into the mind of Pahalwan and Courtesan, the subcontinent's most intriguing symbols of romance. Storytelling at its best." - Naseeruddin Shah.

  • 'Between Clay and Dust, holds the reader enthralled in a gripping experience.' Read more

  • 'This book is a pleasure to read.' Read more

  • 'How Farooqi manages to create such lingering emotional impact without once manipulating the emotions of his readers is the greatest pleasure and mystery of his work.' Read more

  • Tehelka – Between Clay and Dust- ‘The book leaves the reader with a heavy feeling and an indefinite sense of remorse.’ Read more

  • The Asian Age – Between Clay and Dust- ‘Between Clay and Dust is a tale that wrestles with the themes of rectitude and retribution, pride and redemption, grief and guilt, love and loss.’ Read more

  • The Hindu – Between Clay and Dust- The mind of a writer Read more

  • Hindustan Times – Between Clay and Dust – The Akhara And The Kotha: An interview with Musharraf Ali Farooqi Read more

  • India Ink (The New York Times blog)- Between Clay and Dust – "I [Musharraf Ali Farooqi] didn’t want to portray the boundaries of any particular nation-state, either Pakistan or India…" Read more

  • The Sunday Guardian – Between Clay and Dust- Musharraf Ali Farooqi has written a wonderful, quiet novel about how traditions and lives can decline into unmeaning Read more

  • IBN Live – Between Clay and Dust – This is a book whose pages will emit the smells of blood, sweat and freshly churned clay and stay with you long after you have read the last word Read more

  • The Financial Express – Between Clay and Dust- ‘There’s a colonial hangover where regional writing is concerned’ Read more

  • Open Magazine – Between Clay and Dust- Between Clay and Dust is moving, wise, and an incisive glimpse into our souls. It is also a great movie waiting to be made Read more

  • Forbes India – Between Clay and Dust- This is a book to be savoured like a fine single malt Read more

  • The Pioneer – Between Clay and Dust – Twilight of two aging lives Read more

  • Outlook India – Between Clay and Dust- A post-Partition torpor marks time for the sole occupants of a kotha and an akhara. A work of crisp magic. Read more

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