Reading Twilight in Delhi in Lahore (During the Pandemic)

December 3, 2020
The rendering of the city’s atmosphere evokes my own sense memories of Pakistani settings and has kept me engaged through chapter 11 with a cast of characters dealing with a kind of melodramatic need to get their boy married. The author’s reasonable, sympathetic, insider’s perspective on his Muslim characters is a relief. (Amman, Jordan)
March 11, 2021
I bought this secondhand in Jordan for 5 dinars, money well-spent, as it has intermittently held my attention for the past several months, one of not many physical books I brought with me to Lahore. The cover features the domes and minarets of Delhi’s Jama Masjid and the novel within doesn’t disappoint with its convincing representation of Muslim characters living in Hindustan.
March 17, 2021
After brushing my teeth to get ready for bed, I caught my thoughts drifting to this novel; for the first time in a long while, I want to know what’s going to happen to fictional characters, Mir Nihal and company. The author raised my interest with the dialogues of the Hindustani Muslims as they stood and, with critical eyes, watched the procession of the British king emerge through the gates that their own kings used to appear from.
April 17, 2021
This is a light and pleasant read that hasn’t elicited any strong emotions from me. The back and forth zig zag of the plot has a gently dramatic rhythm and pull. Compared to the contrived confections of the past 50 years, it has the feel of a narrative written with no great concern for its commercial performance. A multigenerational Indian Muslim family’s story is framed by the growing presence in Delhi of the Brits.
April 20, 2021
This novel should be placed on a shelf next to Pickthall’s The Early Hours. There don’t seem to be many like it, but that’s one, set near the end of the Ottoman caliphate and published earlier.
Might publish the full review of Twilight in Delhi, later this spring 2021, at, possibly. More at Goodreads.

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