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Bapsi Sidhwa Biography

(1938– ), The Crow Eaters, The Bride, Ice-Candy-Man

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Seven Against Thebes (Hepta epi Thēbas; Septem contra Thebas) to Sir Walter Scott and Scotland

Pakistani novelist, born in Karachi, a member of the tiny Parsi (Zoroastrian) community; Sidhwa grew up in Lahore, where she was educated. Her first published novel, The Crow Eaters (1978), is the carnivalesque chronicle of three generations of a Parsi family, an ambitious blend of satire, farce, social history, and magic realism. A far more sober tale, The Bride (1983) is a reworking of an earlier, unpublished novel, telling of the tragic marriage of a working-class Lahore woman to a youth from the underdeveloped regions of the North-West Frontier. Like all Sidhwa's work, the novel contains a rich undercurrent of legend and folklore. Ice-Candy-Man (1988) combines Sidhwa's affectionate admiration for her own community with a compassion for the dispossessed. Her own childhood memories of the tragedies of the Partition of India—a preoccupation which underwrites much of her work—give the novel further depth and resonance.

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