Archive > Acclaimed novelist Abdullah Hussein has died
The celebrated novelist Abdullah Hussein has died after suffering from blood cancer. His death was announced on 4th July 2015, and several literary figures attended the funeral which was held at home in Larhore, Pakistan.
Born in 1931 to the name Mohammad Khan, Hussein (also spelt Hussain) wrote under a borrowed nom-de-plume to avoid confusion with his namesake, celebrated humorist Colonel Muhammad Khan. Abdullah Hussein shot to fame with the publication of Udaas Naslain, his Urdu masterpiece, in 1964. He had begun writing whilst bored with his job at a chemical factory in Dadukhel and worked on Udaas Naslain for five years.
The novel, for which he was honoured with the Adamjee Award by Marshal Ayub Khan, depicts human stories of love and abandonment in the context of Indian Partition. Hussein occasionally expressed irritation at the way his later work as a writer was eclipsed by this early success. Peter Owen published Hussein’s English translation of Udaas Naslain as The Weary Generations for the first time in 1999, making the novel available to a much wider audience. Editor Simon Smith recalls that Hussein was ‘really good to work with’, and the two remained in sporadic contact after the author’s return to Pakistan. Smith adds that The Weary Generations is, in his view, ‘one of the best books – if not the best – we’ve done since I’ve been working at Peter Owen Publishers’.
Read Abdullah Hussein’s friend Irfan Javid’s moving recollections of the author on the website of Pakistan’s The Friday Times by clicking here: Abdullah Hussain and the weary generations.
More information about the book on our website here: The Weary Generations.
To order a copy of the book in Abdullah Hussein’s much-admired translation from AmazonUK, click here: The Weary Generations.
The book is also available in ebook form for Kindle and can be order by clicking this link: The Weary Generations (ebook).