Widely considered a reigning master of the modern short story, Manto vividly conjures life on the streets of Bombay — its prostitutes, pimps, gangsters, artists, writers, and those caught in the fore of the India-Pakistan partition. Deeply opposed to partition, Manto is best known for his portrayals of its violence and absurdities. From an ownerless dog caught in the firing squad at the border of the two countries, to neighbors turned enemy soldiers pausing for tea together in a short cease fire — Manto challenges the edges of geographic, cultural, and social boundaries with an unflinching and satirical gaze, and a powerful humanism. With an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Vijay Seshadri, this collection illuminates Manto’s most vital and universal work, and — half a century later — remains a prescient text illuminating so many of the glaring and silenced conflicts that plague humanity today.
This book was made possible with the generous support of the Jan Michalski Foundation.