In the City a Mirror Wandering
'Magnificent . . . Ashk writes with a clear hand and is served well by Daisy Rockwell as she recreates a compelling narrative'-Dawn
Unfolding over the course of a single day, Ashk's sweeping sequel to Falling Walls explores the inner struggles of Chetan, an aspiring young writer, as he roams the labyrinthine streets of 1930s' Jalandhar, haunted by his thwarted ambitions but intent on fulfilling his dreams.
Married to a woman he does not love while pining for another man's wife, Chetan must also face the prospect of taking up a dead-end job in the wake of his recent failures in Lahore and Shimla. And as he trudges around Jalandhar, constantly running into people he'd rather avoid, he finds himself confronting the tangled memories, frailties and fears that assail him.
Intensely poignant and vividly evocative, In the City a Mirror Wandering is an exploration of not only a dynamic, bustling city but also the rich tapestry of human emotion that consumes us all.
UPENDRANATH ASHK, 1910-1996, was one of Hindi literature's best known and most controversial authors. Ashk was born in Jalandhar and spent the early part of his writing career as an Urdu author in Lahore. Encouraged by Premchand, he switched to Hindi, and a few years before Partition, moved to Bombay, Delhi and finally Allahabad in 1948, where he spent the rest of his life. By the time of his death, Ashk's phenomenally large oeuvre spanned over a hundred volumes of fiction, poetry, memoir, criticism and translation. Ashk is perhaps best known for his six-volume novel cycle, Girti Divarein, or Falling Walls-an intensely detailed chronicle of the travails of a young Punjabi man attempting to become a writer-which has earned the author comparisons to Marcel Proust. Ashk was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards during his lifetime for his masterful portrayal, by turns humorous and remarkably profound, of the everyday lives of ordinary people.
Daisy Rockwell (Translator)
Daisy Rockwell is an artist, writer and translator living in northern New England, USA. Apart from her essays on literature and art, she has written Upendranath Ashk: A Critical Biography, The Little Book of Terror and the novel Taste. Her highly acclaimed translations include, among others, Upendranath Ashk's Falling Walls and Bhisham Sahni's Tamas, published in Penguin Classics.