Balwant Singh (1921-86), author of more than 40 volumes of fiction, which includes 22 novels and about 300 short stories; was in the forefront of Urdu literary world with Bedi, Manto and Krishan Chander. After completing his graduation in 1942, Balwant Singh spent some time in Lahore, where he came into contact with leading Urdu writers of the time like Krishan Chander and Rajinder Singh Bedi. Even before the Partition Balwant Singh had established himself as a notable write of fiction in Urdu. Balwant Singh depicted rural life in the Punjab with penetratin, insight; especially, his perception of the Sikh psyche is unrivalled. He had th courage to delve deep into the intricacies of the human mind and illuminated hidden terrains of human experience and explored new meanings which not only made his stories unique but also turned the characters memorable.This anthology of selected stories, the third in the series on Urdu fiction, is a superb collection of eighteen short stories of Balwant Singh. Selected and edited by Prof. Gopi Chand Narang, emine scholar and critic, this is an attempt to bring Balwant Singh from out of oblivion an present to the readers some of his best writing. It is supplemented by an erudite introduction by Prof. Narang on the 'Art of Balwant Singh' followed by a detailed life-sketch of the author.
Gopi Chand Narang (b, 1931), former Professor of Urdu at the Delhi University, is an eminent scholar, critic and linguist. His main interest has been in theory and poetics, classical Urdu literature and modern Urdu poetry and fiction. Prof. Narang's distinguishing feature in literary criticism is his insightful application of classical poetics and his creative awareness of contemporary theory. He has more than forty-five books to his credit. He is a Fellow of Sahitya Akademi. He was awarded Padma Sri (1990) and Padma Bhushan (2004) by the President of India. He had won the Special Gold Medal of the President of Pakistan (1978), Sahitya Akademi Award (1995), Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award (2000), European Urdu Writers Society Award (London, 2005), Urdu Akademi's Bahadurshah Zafar Award (2010), Madhya Pradesh Iqbal Samman (2011) and Bharatiya Jnanpith's Moorti Devi Award (2012).
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