There is something so mesmerizing about books that you can’t help but be drawn to them. Some of us have grown up reading books, but those have mostly been the work of western authors. Why? Why do we not talk about Pakistani authors? Who with their amazing talent and the choice of words can incite so many emotions inside of you that you won’t know what to do with yourself? So today, we will talk about ten Pakistani authors who are just simply too good.
Maybe it is the fact that you get to read words jumbled together by someone else – in a way that is a gateway to how their brain works and who they are. Or maybe the mere fact that you can escape your reality and wander into a different world altogether. But the best part about books is that anyone can write them. Quite literally. All you have to do is pick a pen or open Ms. Word and start to write. It is as simple as that.
In Pakistan, there are two kinds of authors you will find. One is the old authors whose work is both dark, romantic, and meaningful. And the other is the recent fiction writers who write the contemporary fiction genre. Today we will talk about all of them.
But first, let’s talk about the former. They were more prevalent in the times of pre-partition, and when migrated to Pakistan, wrote their versions of all that happened. There is a lesson in their books – a meaningful monologue, which will lead you to wonder about your own life. Make you question your own existence. But if you look closely, like really close – you will find the answers in the books as well. You just have to see it.
Here is a list of the top 5 classical Pakistani writers:
We start with Razia Butt because she is one of the most prolific and profound authors there is. She was a Playwright and a Novelist and was mostly known for making her female protagonists strong. She had a way with words or maybe she used to draw inspiration of the character in her books from the people around her because each and every of her character was always complex – even the antagonists. Her most notable work, which was then later adapted for a tv drama as well was Bano – the story on the horrors of the Partition of the subcontinent. You will both cry and feel for the people of that time when reading this book.
Bano Qudsia is a known female writer that most of you might have heard. She was another author born in the subcontinent, who then moved to Pakistan after the partition and started to write stories. Bano Apa’s work has always been profound and thought-provoking. Interestingly, her husband – Ashfaq Ahmed also was one of the top-tier authors that we have had, and together the two of them were the backbone of the country. But if one wants to read about life or wants to get into the habit of writing, they will have to read the work of Bano Apa.
Ashfaq is one of the biggest names in Pakistani Literature. He started writing before the partition. He and his wife have paved the way for classical literature for everyone in this country. Interestingly, people across the border and in the West as well, his work is taught in courses to students of literature.
Saadat Hasan Manto is a pioneer in classical literature. His work to this day is applauded for its excellence and for touching the lives of everyone. He did not follow one particular niche but instead wrote about things prevalent in society. His style of work is a little too bold for some people but at the same time is acknowledged everywhere.
Umera Ahmad is a fabulous author. Her work is specially picked up for tv dramas. It is just the way that she writes and highlights the complexities of men and women in their walks of life, and in the relationships that they have. If ever one wants to read about romance in a way that touches your heart – Umera Ahmad is the answer to it all.
Now, let’s talk about the recent contemporary authors of the day.
Sheema Bukhari is a one-of-a-kind author who knows how to impress people with her choice of words. Being an Assistant Professor of Media Sciences by profession she wants to express herself with her words. Her first book is Earthlings – The Weaklings. The book is about explaining the weakness of people and how they cope with them.
Sidra F. Sheikh
Sidra after partnering with Mongrel Books published a few books. Her most infamous book The Light Blue Jumper revolves around war and is a fictional book. Along with being an author she is also a mother who wanted nothing more but to explore her creative side.
Sarim also signed a contract with Mongrel Books to publish his first book. His first book was Sants and Charlatans – a fictional book set in Lahore. The book highlights the internal struggles of people as they explore both their good and bad sides.
Eman S Rahim
Eman uses writing as an expression to explore the complexities of human life, keeping in mind poetry as a medium that connects the worlds together. His first published collections were The Cave, which he published with Marking’s publications. The story is about a merchant who uses other people’s stories to escape his own troubles.
Shazaf Fatima Haider
Shazaf is not only an author but also a mother as well. Her area of expertise is explaining the stories of middle-class people and the difficulties the said people have when moving around in their lives. One of her most famous works, A Firefly in the Dark got a lot of international recognition worldwide and won the Children’s Peekaboo Prize in India.
While Pakistan still has a lot of amazing authors, we, unfortunately, have to conclude our list here. However, we are very hopeful that in the coming few years we will have a lot more authors coming in because there is no shortage of words or talent.