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Fireflies in the Mist

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  151 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Championed by Salman Rushdie in The New Yorker, Qurratulain Hyder is one of the "must reads" of Indian literature. Fireflies in the Mist is Hyder's capstone to her astonishing River of Fire, which was hailed by The New York Review of Books as "magisterial with a technical resourcefulness rarely seen before in Urdu fiction."

Fireflies follows the creation of modern day Bangl
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 28th 2010 by New Directions (first published 1979)
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Feb 14, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing
A novel of grand historical sweep by the writer widely viewed as the greatest Urdu author of the 20'th century. Hyder translated her own book, so it doesn't read like a translation. While it deals with the transition of India from British colony to bifurcated Hindu/Muslim nation, it focuses on a group of Muslim women whose lives are intertwined in a way that makes their stories personal, so you care about the people more than the politics. Each has a different fate when India gains independence ...more
Oct 22, 2011 Amari rated it it was amazing
Extremely absorbing. I found it difficult to begin, but as I became more accustomed to the Bengali Urdu as well as Hindu and Muslim vocabulary, character names, place names, and honorifics used throughout, the dramatic saga started to work its magic on me. This book in fact caused me to miss an evening at the theater (not paying attention to my stop on the U-Bahn) and to take a completely wrong train on the way back from a meeting, even though tourists asked me which train it was. I cheerfully r ...more
Apr 03, 2014 Nicole rated it liked it
I read this book mainly for a literary criticism that I have to complete for my course. So I both had and didn't have high expectations for this book. So for me the book was good and okay. I liked the use of language in the book and it was interesting but in the end I got annoyed with the characters and the book just became really depressing. But then again this book reflects real life and usually I read books to get away from real life. But then again I have read books that reflect real life an ...more
Amann Junaid
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The book follows the indian independence movement from about 1920 to about the 70's or even 80's. A final group of chapters gives the epilogue for the three friends and some of those in heavy contact with them after all was said and done. Particularly noticeable was how all agreed that the young revolutionaries who survive turn into the more conservative of the next generation with age. The characters are so well done, the conversations allow the reader to know all the opinions feeding into the ...more
Jenny Yates
Jul 17, 2010 Jenny Yates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a feeling this novel lost a lot in its translation from Urdu. It isn’t easy for Westerners to follow, with the many variations on each name, and the many classical Indian references. It could use a glossary. Yet if you stick with it to the end, you get into its rhythm and feel its power.

It follows a group of young woman and men from the days of British rule, through the Partition of India and the creation of Bangladesh. It explores the revolutionary impulse, as well as the ways revolutio
Ammar Maaz
Jun 20, 2014 Ammar Maaz marked it as to-read
Sally Anne
Feb 23, 2012 Sally Anne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Louise Gikow, Patty B, Roberta Staats
Recommended to Sally Anne by: Salman Rushdie
Wow. I have been struggling through this book for months (longer than September of 2011). What a challenge. What a read. It was very hard to understand the culture, the different nicknames people are called, all kinds of little things. If you read it, plan to start slowly, make a vocabulary list, as well as a character list, and keep track of everyone. I hope I read it again sometime, but as I have had it out of the library for 9 months, I figure someone else should stumble across it.
Jun 14, 2014 Jijo rated it really liked it
A good read for anyone who is interested in India's history from a different perspective. there are times this book feels like a history book. Though this is a translated version, you could feel the poetry.
Jan 21, 2014 Marnie rated it liked it
I had a very hard time getting into this book. I lack a cultural/historical/religious background that would have provided a frame of reference. I constantly had to look up a map or an event or a word. Eventually I made myself just go with the story and not worry about understanding everything. Then I enjoyed it. Unfortunately I didn't really like the way it ended. The style changed, as well as the tone.
Jan 11, 2011 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: partially-read
I did like this book, but there was just so much in the history and culture that the writer talked about that I felt like I was just skimming the book. Too busy right now to fill in the gaps in my knowledge, so I had to put this down.
Feb 21, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but it took quite a while for me to really get into it. I considered abandoning it several times, but I persevered, and am glad that I did. It was a difficult read, but the story was interesting.
Ahmad Mushtaq
Feb 15, 2016 Ahmad Mushtaq rated it it was amazing
Great book. A very good read for anyone from Pakistan or India.
i think it is a good novel
Nazim Durrani
Jun 15, 2009 Nazim Durrani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fathima Cader
Aug 31, 2011 Fathima Cader rated it really liked it
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Qurratulain Hyder (20 January 1927 – 21 August 2007) was an influential Indian Urdu novelist and short story writer, an academic, and a journalist. One of the most outstanding literary names in Urdu literature, she is best known for her magnum opus, Aag Ka Darya (River of Fire), a novel first published in Urdu in 1959, from Lahore, Pakistan, that stretches from the 4th century BC to post partition ...more
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“The Mississippi and its paddle boats, and the rivers of Bengal and their gleaming steamers evoked a similar atmosphere of romance, of long, song-filled voyages, high winds and lonely sunsets.” 2 likes
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