Between Clay and Dust (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"Stories of brothers in conflict are ancient and timely both, much like Pakistan where this story takes place.  Each one is a wrestler but one is righteous and uncompromising while his younger sibling is brash and sensitive.  Drugs are only part of what divides them. This is a story of generations of tradition traduced by the modern world.  Deceptively simple in its writing while rich in symbols and humanity,  Between Clay and Dust is well worth reading and perhaps rereading."--Reviewed by Dora

— From Dora Recommends


A Finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize, a moving and beautifully told story set in a the tumultuous days after the Partition of India and Pakistan, about a wrestling champion and a courtesan struggling to hold onto the world they knew amidst the eruptions of history.

In a ruined city after the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Ustad Ramzi is still famed as a wrestler of unparalleled strength and technique. But now Ramzi's power--if not his indomitable will--is on the wane, while his younger brother Tamami, unconcerned with traditions and hierarchy, hungers for immediate fame and glory at the risk of family honor.

The courtesan Gohar Jan was once celebrated throughout the country for her beauty and the seductive power of her singing, her salon thronged by nobles, rich men, and infatuated admirers. But the aging Gohar Jan's world is changing, too. Ustad Ramzi and Gohar Jan are both beloved paragons of a world that no longer exists, in a bewildering new reality indifferent to their art.

Shortlisted for The Man Asian Literary Prize, acclaimed Pakistani author Musharraf Ali Farooqi's novel is a bracing and elegant story of two extraordinary characters in the twilight of their lives who stand resolute as the society they've known crumbles around them. Between Clay and Dust is an arresting account of love, honor, betrayal, and the ways in which we wrestle with history.

About the Author

Musharraf Ali Farooqi is an author, novelist, and translator. He was born in 1968 in Hyderabad, Pakistan, and now divides his time between Toronto and Karachi. His acclaimed new novel, Between Clay and Dust, was shortlisted for The Man Asian Literary Prize 2012 and longlisted for the 2013 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. In 2015, Restless Books will publish Farooqi's second novel, The Story of a Widow, which was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2011 and longlisted for the 2010 IMPAC-Dublin Literary Award. His most recent children's fiction is the novel Tik-Tik, The Master of Time, Pakistan's first English language novel for children. His other children's fiction includes the picture book The Cobbler's Holiday Or Why Ants Don't Wear Shoes and the collection The Amazing Moustaches of Mocchhander the Iron Man and Other Stories, shortlisted for the India ComicCon award in the Best Publication for Children category. He is the author of the critically acclaimed translations of Urdu classics, The Adventures of Amir Hamza, and the first book of a projected 24--volume magical fantasy epic, Hoshruba.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781632060372
ISBN-10: 163206037X
Publisher: Restless Books
Publication Date: September 8th, 2015
Pages: 208
Language: English