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Legendary writer Intizar Hussain passes away

LAHORE: Veteran short story writer, novelist, journalist and poet Intizar Husain passed away at a hospital in Lahore. The 92-year-old was undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

Hussain has several novels translated from Urdu into English including Naya Ghar and Basti. He was also a regular columnist for Dawn.

Hussain was born at Dibai in Bulandshahr district. His date of birth is mired in controversy and may be any of the following December 21, 1922, December 21, 1923 or December 21, 1925. He did his intermediate in 1942, BA in 1944 and MA (Urdu) in 1946 from the Meerut College.

He migrated to Lahore in 1947. Here he served various newspapers, retired from Mashriq daily in 1988 and began working as a freelance journalist and writer.

His books include Gali Koochay, Kankari, Din Aur Dastan, Shehr-i-afsos, Kachhuay, Khaimay Say Door, Khali Pinjra, Morenama and Sheharzad Kay Naam. Despite being read and loved by many, Hussain kept a low-key profile and rarely gave interviews.

In an interview with Dawn, he said that he was “a story writer not a reformer.”

“I do not care if I’m not contributing to national development in the popular sense.Those writers who think they are reforming society, I wish them good luck in their efforts. I write stories and do not care what impact they will have on the readers,” he had said.

He also said that “one shouldn’t rewrite one’s own works published long, long ago even if they have some flaws. Our writings are like our children. When they become mature, we have no right to modify them. I’m not in favour of translating one’s own works.”

Intizar Hussain was conferred upon the ‘Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters’ by the French Ambassador to Pakistan Philppe Thiebaud in September 2014. He was among the 10 finalists for the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in 2013.


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