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Mottled Dawn: Fifty Partition Sketches and Stories Paperback – 14 Oct 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books India (14 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140272127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140272123
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,127,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Partition stories by the subcontinent's finest short-story writer Mottled Dawn is a collection of Saadat Hasan Manto's most powerful pieces on the Partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947. The book includes unforgettable stories like 'Toba Tek Singh', 'The Return', 'The Assignment', 'Colder Than Ice' and many more, bringing alive the most tragic event in the history of the Indian subcontinent. 'Manto's stories will endure as perhaps the best work of fiction on the Partition and its painful impact on the Indo-Pak ethos...' --Indian Express 'There is still no literary rival to Manto...(and) as communalism, religious intolerance and enmity between India and Pakistan continue to grow, his stories are still highly relevant.' --Independent 'Manto's irony and humanity raise him on par with Gogol.' --Anita Desai in The Spectator 'The undisputed master of the modern Indian short story.' --Salman Rushdie 'Manto is a master storyteller.' --Khushwant Singh Partition stories by the subcontinent's finest short-story writer Mottled Dawn is a collection of Saadat Hasan Manto's most powerful pieces on the Partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947.

The book includes unforgettable stories like 'Toba Tek Singh', 'The Return', 'The Assignment', 'Colder Than Ice' and many more, bringing alive the most tragic event in the history of the Indian subcontinent. 'Manto's stories will endure as perhaps the best work of fiction on the Partition and its painful impact on the Indo-Pak ethos...' --Indian Express 'There is still no literary rival to Manto...(and) as communalism, religious intolerance and enmity between India and Pakistan continue to grow, his stories are still highly relevant.' --Independent 'Manto's irony and humanity raise him on par with Gogol.' --Anita Desai in The Spectator 'The undisputed master of the modern Indian short story.' --Salman Rushdie 'Manto is a master storyteller.' --Khushwant Singh


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Deshmukh on 13 Oct. 2005
Cannot believe that this has not been reviewed so far.Currently been revisiting the great man's work in the light of the recent earthquake in South Asia. There is great potential to bring the two countries of India & Pakistan together but in reality the same old tensions and rivalries exist that Manto wrote and ridiculed in his work. This book is amazing and if you come from this part of the world and have a sense of self you will automatically recognise the issues that he touches on but there are some universal themes at play as well. Some of the imagery is so powerful that I carry it around with me almost like a scar.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DOGG on 5 Dec. 2010
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If Sadat Manto was writing in 2010, he would be a Pakistani, he would have seen the nuclear age for his nation and heard of the wars with India and the strange,in-between days of "Partition" in 1947.

Sadat Manto is neither Pakistani or Indian, to me he seems to stand as a representative of Old India, where all religions lived together,personal devotion was just that,personal. This remarkable collection of short tales and sketches tells the stories of 1947,as the British departed indian shores in a matter of weeks,leaving millions in the Punjab divided and under siege.

Punjab was Muslim majority but very mixed in 1947 , the split meant that many Sikhs and Hindus' were stranded in the West, with Muslims stranded in the East. They violence and carnage resulted from desperate flight and mob rule colliding, the British were powerless with a token force of men.

Manto is objective throughout, he observes events through a careful eye. His dismay at events is in every paragraph, all groups are victims of mans sudden inhumanity to man. Manto is very readable, credit must go to the translation from the Urdu and the excellent introduction by Khalid Hasan.

I wont spoil these little tales by giving too much away but read this and Khushwant Singhs "Train to Pakistan" if you are interested in the partition of India in 1947. If you are of Asian descent in the UK, ask your grandparents for some primary source accounts of the horor, it really happened and must never be forgotten.
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By Michael France on 15 Oct. 2009
I am interested in the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 but mainly from an Indian perspective and perhapsMottled Dawn: Fifty Partition Sketches and Storiesby Saadat Hasan Manto is one of the most vivid descriptions of the traumatic times of Indian and Pakistan history.

The stories contained within the book, some as short as a sentence, gives the reader an insight into the enormity of the tragedy that was set in motion by the divide but told from a human perspective.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Mottled Dawn 28 Nov. 2005
By M. A. ZAIDI - Published on Amazon.com
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Manto a writer dismissed by the critics of his time as heretic; has proven them wrong by showing his real ingenuity in writing short stories with the utmost wit and flair for ironical humor. The "Mottled Dawn" which comprises a fair selection of 50 sketches and short stories are an entertaining read. He is a disturbing writer who shocks the reader with his candidness, sometimes with his crudity. Whether he writes of sex or the life of prostitutes, on social or on political issues, his stories are full of fire. His frankness greatly agitated the self-styled moralists of his day he had to face charges of obscenity against several of his stories in the court. Discarding emotionalism and slogans, Manto adopted a plain, realistic style with which he explores the depths of human psychology. His stories about the 1947 killings and disturbances are a moving record of the period. Their grim realism evokes the tensions and tragedy of the time with powerful directness. . Manto has the ability to take on the suffering and the painful experience by the people during partition and present it in a very conscise manner without making the story either dramatic or tragic.

Manto's protagonists are prostitutes, mentally insane inmates, criminals, poor people and beggars. His works evoke a great love for humanity and a sharp analysis of contemporary crises. According to Usman, Manto's characters "belong to a working-class world. His prostitute can be pious. His pimp can be honest. His street tough has a kind heart. His factory workers are revolutionaries. But at the same time, he is a realist. He can show the worst crimes and can immortalise the bloody partition of India in his writings."

Manto wrote about anti-imperialism, religious oppression and social misery. The horrific madness caused by India's partition and the creation of Pakistan inspired many celebrated works such as Toba Tek Singh, Naiya Qanun (New Law) and Babu Gopinath. A fine example of Manto's ironic wit is in his description of a communal riot in The Garland:

"The mob suddenly veered to the left, its wrath now directed at the statue of Sir Ganga Ram, the great philanthropist of Lahore. One man smeared the statue's face with coal tar. Another strung together a garland of shoes and was about to place it around the great man's neck when the police moved in, guns blazing. The man with the garland of shoes was shot, and taken to the nearby Sir Ganga Ram Hospital."
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