For Now, It Is Night: Stories


Translated from by , , ,

Published: February 20th, 2024

ISBN: 9781953861788
This item will be released on February 20, 2024.

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Book Description

Rescued from the translator Kalpana Raina’s former Kashmiri home and brought together from the pages of out of print magazines and fading library copies, this collection resurrects the work of a doyen of Kashmiri Pandit literature, never before translated into English. Kaul’s layered and imaginative stories brim with nuanced detail as they convey the complex realities in Kashmir. In prose that captures both the subtleties and the dramatic intensity of cultural and class tension, Kaul’s characters navigate their ever-changing environs with biting humor as they make uncomfortable compromises to survive. From two students who fret that the world will pass them by as they fail to memorize their multiplication tables, to a woman facing the first days in an uneasy exile at her daughter inlaw’s Delhi home, to a father and son confined to a small flat in a thunderstorm pondering their past and future Kaul’s stories catalog and dissect the tenuous way people struggle to find relevance in their new surroundings.

Brought into English by a team of translators within and without Kashmir, these eighteen stories are a masterful collaborative effort, achieved through repeated listening to recordings of the Kashmir. Together, they recover the dramas of a syncretic society both unraveled and vibrant in these resonant, deeply human (and, occasionally, surreal) stories.

Masterful... The frustrations and disappointments of the people, both Muslims and Pandits, are sensitively felt and fearlessly depicted.
Neerja Mattoo

A valuable introduction to one of contemporary Kashmir’s most distinguished, if unsung, literary voices... This volume makes itself indispensable to the ways in which we seek to understand the vexed recent past of Kashmir.
Sanjay Kak

Tenderly told and beautifully translated, these tales, both fabled and realistic, conjure a lost time.
Farah Bashir

Sets a new standard for translations from Kashmiri even as it calls attention to a remarkable writer.
Suvir Kaul

Reveals visionary insights into what it means to be human... An extraordinary writer.
Mirza Waheed

Kaul deftly traces movement and transformation... While at times he makes use of phantasmagoric devices, his primary concerns are earthbound, everyday and human... Kaul subverts the binaries of good and evil, friend and enemy, self and other... His stories recover a nuanced, multi-faceted history of a crucial period of political transition and rupture in Kashmir.
Gowhar Fazili

Kaul structures his narratives as excavations that reveal the web of reality beneath the surface. His frameless representations of Kashmiri society are sometimes so real that one can touch them.
Tanveer Ajsi

There are no grand themes in Kaul’s work but an exploration and ultimately an acceptance of human limitations. He used his personal experiences to explore universal themes of isolation, individual and collective alienation, and the shifting circumstances of a community that went on to experience a significant loss of homeland, culture, and ultimately language.
Kaplana Raina

Kaul’s stories are a testament to the power of literature to illuminate the subtleties of human experience, transcending regional and cultural boundaries, and provoking contemplation to find meaning in the entire scheme of seemingly random events, experiences, and actions.
Manisha Gangahar, The Tribune

With an impressive eye for detail, biting wit, and deep empathy… Kaul provides an irreverent examination of exile that resonates across time and place.
Nawaid Anjum, The Federal

Masterfully translated by Tanveer Ajsi, Gowhar Fazili, Gowhar Yaqoob and Kaul’s niece Kalpana Raina, these stories transport readers into the cultural essence of Kashmir while exploring timeless themes of love, morality, death, and the paradoxes underlying human relationships.
Muhammad Nadeem, Kashmir Life

Kaul writes as if what oppresses Kashmiris is no longer something historical, human and contingent, but something irrevocable and unyielding. Yet even as he writes in this way, he knows the duplicity of doing so. Yes, let us blame the weather, he says ironically... There is much more that could be said about these stories... about the wry humour that leavens them, the spirit of Kafka that sometimes seems to flash across a story... The labour of love that has produced this beautiful translation will find fertile ground only if we read, reflect upon, and in turn translate these stories into our own thought-worlds.
Simona Sawhney, The Wire

Kaul’s writings can be divided into the pre-exile and post-exile era, but his subjects and concerns have always focused on Kashmiris regardless of religion, community, or caste. Everything that influenced his own life, including the trauma of exile, became a subject in his work... For Kaul, stories were a medium of self-expression. He carved out portraits of everyday living, and if you look closely, his stories reveal a world of desire and yearning.
Niyati Bhat, Scroll

Read “The News,” a story from the collection, in Out of Print Magazine.