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A Thousand Yearnings: A book of Urdu Poetry and Prose

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In this treasure trove of stories, verse and history, Ralph Russell - one of the greatest scholars of Urdu - expands our world of Urdu letters to include fascinating folk and oral narratives, besides exceptional prose and poetry. By situating each form historically, he gives us a refreshing perspective on the diverse literary cultures of India in the last two centuries. Bes In this treasure trove of stories, verse and history, Ralph Russell - one of the greatest scholars of Urdu - expands our world of Urdu letters to include fascinating folk and oral narratives, besides exceptional prose and poetry. By situating each form historically, he gives us a refreshing perspective on the diverse literary cultures of India in the last two centuries. Besides canonical short stories by the likes of Manto, Krishan Chander, Premchand and Rashid Jahan, he brings us gripping extracts from the memoirs of Ismat Chughtai and Shaukat Thanavi. Exciting creation tales from the Quran find space next to the popular stories of Akbar and Birbal, and the legendary exploits of Sikandar (Alexander the Great). The sublime section on love poetry features selections from the masters Mir, Ghalib, Momin and others, and is supplemented by astute commentary and roman transliterations of the original Urdu. Finally, in Farhatullah Beg's brilliantly imagined account of the 'last Delhi mushaira', Russell presents a moment in time never seen again, with the horrors of 1857 just around the corner. This luminous volume is an accessible introduction for new readers, and a pleasurable companion for those familiar with Urdu literature. Originally published to great acclaim as Hidden in the Lute (1995), this revised edition has been edited by Russell's student and friend, the novelist Marion Molteno. About the Author Ralph Russell (1918-2008) has been widely recognized as the greatest western scholar of Urdu. Khushwant Singh described him as 'the most revered name of interpreters of Ghalib's life and works'. He headed the Urdu department at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London for thirty years.


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In this treasure trove of stories, verse and history, Ralph Russell - one of the greatest scholars of Urdu - expands our world of Urdu letters to include fascinating folk and oral narratives, besides exceptional prose and poetry. By situating each form historically, he gives us a refreshing perspective on the diverse literary cultures of India in the last two centuries. Bes In this treasure trove of stories, verse and history, Ralph Russell - one of the greatest scholars of Urdu - expands our world of Urdu letters to include fascinating folk and oral narratives, besides exceptional prose and poetry. By situating each form historically, he gives us a refreshing perspective on the diverse literary cultures of India in the last two centuries. Besides canonical short stories by the likes of Manto, Krishan Chander, Premchand and Rashid Jahan, he brings us gripping extracts from the memoirs of Ismat Chughtai and Shaukat Thanavi. Exciting creation tales from the Quran find space next to the popular stories of Akbar and Birbal, and the legendary exploits of Sikandar (Alexander the Great). The sublime section on love poetry features selections from the masters Mir, Ghalib, Momin and others, and is supplemented by astute commentary and roman transliterations of the original Urdu. Finally, in Farhatullah Beg's brilliantly imagined account of the 'last Delhi mushaira', Russell presents a moment in time never seen again, with the horrors of 1857 just around the corner. This luminous volume is an accessible introduction for new readers, and a pleasurable companion for those familiar with Urdu literature. Originally published to great acclaim as Hidden in the Lute (1995), this revised edition has been edited by Russell's student and friend, the novelist Marion Molteno. About the Author Ralph Russell (1918-2008) has been widely recognized as the greatest western scholar of Urdu. Khushwant Singh described him as 'the most revered name of interpreters of Ghalib's life and works'. He headed the Urdu department at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London for thirty years.

47 review for A Thousand Yearnings: A book of Urdu Poetry and Prose

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz Cloos

    This book was a delightful introduction to Urdu poetry and prose. Ralph Russell’s enthusiasm for the language and its literature jumps off the page. I especially enjoyed reading the Ghazals and the discussion on the New Light. What a superb book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anirudh Kulkarni

  3. 4 out of 5

    Harini Dedhia

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pankaj

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gretch Acaso-Torion

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mubashir

  7. 4 out of 5

    Akhilesh

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anirudh Acharya

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anam Shaikh ⚯͛

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachna Shetty

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mayuresh Gadge

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sana

  13. 5 out of 5

    Simran

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hassan Naqvi

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rishi Kumar

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anjali

  17. 4 out of 5

    S. Ghazali

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yusra

  19. 5 out of 5

    U.T. Jamil

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zaveri

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fay Alif

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pradhuman Bhati

  23. 5 out of 5

    Skye

  24. 5 out of 5

    Satyajeet

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gary

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sumil

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zehra Goawala

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kabir

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vivek Modi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joy

  31. 5 out of 5

    Gurleen

  32. 5 out of 5

    Abhijeet Krishna

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ranjodh Sambi

  34. 5 out of 5

    Navreen

  35. 4 out of 5

    Shafaq

  36. 5 out of 5

    Mahevash

  37. 4 out of 5

    Pratik

  38. 5 out of 5

    Nausheen

  39. 5 out of 5

    Ahsan Tariq

  40. 5 out of 5

    Ravi Kshetre

  41. 4 out of 5

    Manasi

  42. 4 out of 5

    Grishma

  43. 5 out of 5

    Ruchita Chandrashekar

  44. 4 out of 5

    J Brummans

  45. 5 out of 5

    Abhishek

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kamal Zaidi

  47. 5 out of 5

    Sharada

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