And the World Changed

And the World Changed


Edited by Muneeza Shamsie
Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women

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Paperback Edition
Publication Date: 10-01-2008

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The only English-language anthology by Pakistani women published in the United States, And the World Changed goes beyond the sensational headlines to reveal the stories of Pakistani women. Immigrants and refugees, travelers and explorers, seasoned authors and fresh voices, the twenty-five writers in this volume are as dynamic and diverse as their stories.

Sixty years have passed since the Partition of India, and it’s clear that Pakistani writers have established their own literary tradition to record the stories of their communities. Famed novelist Bapsi Sidhwa portrays a Pakistani community in Houston, Texas, still struggling to heal from the horrors of Partition. In Uzma Aslam Khan’s tale, a man working in a Karachi auto body shop falls in love with the magical woman painted on a bus cabin. Bushra Rehman introduces us to a Pakistani girl living in Corona, Queens, who becomes painfully aware of the tensions between established Italian immigrants and their new Pakistani neighbors. And during the anti-Muslim sentiment following 9/11, a young woman in newcomer Humera Afridi’s story searches Manhattan’s rubble-filled streets for a mosque.

Filled with nostalgic memories of Pakistan, critical commentary about the world’s current political climate, and inspirational hope for the future, the stories in And the World Changed weave an intricate, enlightening view of Pakistan, its relation to the West, and the women who travel between the two regions.

"In this anthology there is no shortage of illuminating moments, either cultural or literary. . . . The authors regularly include terms from their native languages, a hybrid form that reminds the reader that these women truly write in the borderlands. [And the World Changed], skillfully collected and assembled, admits us into that life between worlds." —The Bloomsbury Review

"I could not put this book down! And the World Changed is a groundbreaking collection that has the potential to propel contemporary writing by Pakistani women to the center of postcolonial literary canons. . . . A book to savor, to think upon and share with everyone." —Chandra Talpade Mohanty, author of Feminism Without Borders, Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity

"A pathbreaking anthology, a feast of women's writing which challenges stereotypes of Pakistani women since Partition. It is essential reading for anyone interested in this emerging literature." —Janet Wilson, Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies, The University of Northampton

"Muneeza Shmasie's gem-like collection is once personal, autobiographical, and national. The stories suggest that the tiniest personal moments connect, directly or obliquely, to the traumas of national and political identity formation." —Zohreh Sullivan, Professor of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Of immense historic, political, and literary significance . . . these words will change us as they invent worlds we thought we knew." —Sunaina Maira, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, University of California, Davis

"[A] must for any world literature collection." —Midwest Book Review: Wisconsin Bookwatch

"A welcome addition to the growing corpus of women's writing from the subcontinent. . . . Highly Recommended."Choice Magazine (starred review)