Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, translator and a critic. Her collection of short stories, Release and Other Stories, was recently published.

What are you reading these days? A biography of the thumri singer, Naina Devi, by her disciple, Vidya Rao.

Which books are on your bedside table? There is always a dog-eared P. G. Wodehouse which I pick up from the middle and read most days. There is a small book of duas which I dip into most nights and books related to whichever (academic) paper I happen to be currently working on; for the past several weeks my bedside table has been overflowing with stuff on Urdu barahmasas.

Which titles are on your bucket list of books? In no particular order: collected works of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Qurratulain Hyder, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Marquez, The Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz and The Portable Dorothy Parker.

What is the one book/author you feel everyone must read? I’d say Jane Austen — for her simple, elegant, polished prose.

What are you planning to reread? Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation of the Quran.

What is the one book you read because you thought it would make you appear smarter? Two books actually — the first Harry Potter book and the first of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. In both cases, I could not go beyond a few pages. In both cases, I was trying to read them to appear smarter in the eyes of my two teenage daughters. Evidently, I didn’t succeed!

What is the one book you started reading but could not finish? Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy.

What is your favourite childhood book or story? The Nancy Drew series; they were about freedom, fun and fearlessness.

Opinion

Civil liberties
23 Oct 2021

Civil liberties

The late I.A. Rehman is esteemed on both sides of the border.
The Hamza factor
Updated 23 Oct 2021

The Hamza factor

A new story is quietly unfolding inside the PML-N and there may yet be a surprise twist.
What should Imran Khan do?
Updated 23 Oct 2021

What should Imran Khan do?

Making a mishmash of religion and politics won’t turn Pakistan into a welfare state. Here’s what can.
Afghan health crises
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Afghan health crises

The condition and prospects of Afghanistan’s health sector are complex and grave.

Editorial

A final push
Updated 23 Oct 2021

A final push

PAKISTAN’S hopes of exiting the so-called FATF grey list have been shattered once again. The global money...
23 Oct 2021

Kabul visit

FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s flying visit to Kabul on Thursday is the first official high-level...
23 Oct 2021

Baqir’s blooper

THE remarks made by State Bank governor Reza Baqir at a London press conference have hit a raw nerve in Pakistan. In...
Spate of attacks
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Spate of attacks

Following a near-constant decline since 2016, the year 2021 has witnessed a precipitous rise in violence-related fatalities in KP.
22 Oct 2021

Libel suits

THE outcome of two libel cases recently decided by courts in England should be edifying for the government — if it...
22 Oct 2021

Education losses

A NEW report on the education losses suffered by Pakistani children due to pandemic-induced school closures sheds...