Abdullah Hussain is undoubtedly the greatest realist in Urdu literature

His fiction has an unshakable power. It is firmly grounded in its soil and human nature: The Nation

Abdullah Hussain
Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain, author of some of the finest novels and short stories in Urdu literature, never liked to be in the limelight. Since the publishing of his first novel Udaas Naslein in 1961, which is considered Urdu’s second best novel after Aag Ka Darya and translated into English by the author himself under the title Weary Generations, Abdullah Hussain has been a big name in Urdu literature. However, the great man of letters had distaste for the set traditions and patterns of Urdu fiction, mediocre writers, unintelligent critics and perhaps most of all literary gatherings.

He emerged on the literary scene as a very promising new writer with a fresh voice and a different (odd for some) style and received the prestigious Adamjee Literary Award for his very first novel. But then he was nowhere to be seen for a very long time. Abdullah Hussain moved to England where he lived for four decades. Over the years he kept writing. Giving one great book after the other, novels, novellas, short stories but never became a part of Urdu literature’s Adabi Majlis tradition. In early 1990s, Abdullah Hussain came back home to research for his epic novel Nadaar Log and perhaps this was the beginning of the end of his years abroad. A few years ago, he separated from his wife and son and came back permanently to live with his daughter Noor Fatima. He remained the same old man in this new chapter of life, meeting very few people and living a quiet and private life.

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