The novel is a social document that asserts its own identity in relation to the socio-political problems of an age. Post-partition, the novel was used to address the budding identity crisis faced by a post-colonial consciousness. Writers turned to literature to pose questions of self-identity as it was under flux from the external social forces of migration and cultural conflict. The Urdu novel took up the 1947 Indo-Pak partition as a major focal point from which to dissect the consciousness of a post-colonial society.
The prominent works of Pakistani Urdu literature include the following.
1. Aag ka Darya by Quratulain Hyder (1957)
‘River of Fire’ poses the question of personal and collective identity of a society through generations. The novel moves through centuries and brings to light the thoughts being raised in the mind of a people, as they are colonized by oppressive forces, and consequently, swept into the turmoil of the partition of the Sub-continent. The physical layer of the tragedy conceals a deeper psychological tragedy as the characters wander around in search for ways to reaffirm their identity in the new scheme of things, like the heroes of an absurdist fiction.