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Fault lines : stories of 1971

Niaz Zaman; Āṣif Farruk̲h̲ī
Dhaka : University Press
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Fault Lines is the first anthology containing stories from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, the United States and the United Kingdom on the theme of 1971. There is a lot of creative writing that has emerged from 1971, but most of it in regional languages. This anthology, by putting together stories originally written in Bangla, Urdu, Sindhi or Punjabi, in addition to a handful originally written in English, attempts to bridge the language barrier. The breakup of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh were attended by violence and bloodshed. As these writers try to come to grips with the facts and the emotions of 1971, the reader is taken back to that turbulent and momentous time. The stories are painful and often brutal, even as they recount tales of quiet heroism. They oblige readers to ask pertinent questions about their own history. How real were the differences between Bangla speakers and Urdu speakers? What were the emotions of a Pakistani soldier ordered to shoot unarmed women and children? Were all women helpless victims of atrocities committed on them? What was life like in the camps? Were all Bengalis brave? Were all Punjabis evil? These stories vividly portray the many aspects of 1971 and after. With an introduction by the co-editors, drawing upon their personal experiences of 1971 and suggesting the context of these writings, this anthology is essential reading for those interested in the history of this period as well as in riveting fiction.