Chaman Nahal

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Chaman Nahal
Sialkot, India
New Delhi, India
Occupation(s)writer and professor
SpouseSudarshna Nahal
ChildrenAjanta kohli, Anita Nahal
AwardsSahitya Academy Award (1977)
Federation of Indian Publishers award, (1977)
Federation of Indian Publishers award, (1979)

Chaman Nahal commonly known as C Nahal, and Chaman Nahal Azadi, was an Indian born writer of English literature. He was widely considered one of the best exponents of Indian writing in English and is known for his work, Azadi, which is set on India's Independence and her partition.[1] He is also known for his depiction of Mahatma Gandhi as a complex character with human failings.[citation needed]

Life and career[edit]

Chaman Nahal was born in Sialkot, in pre-Independence India, a province in the present day Pakistan, in 1927. After having done his school education locally, he did his master's in English at University of Delhi in 1948. He continued his education as a British Council Scholar at University of Nottingham (1959–61) and obtained a PhD in English in 1961. While attaining his education, he worked as a lecturer (1949–1962). In 1962, he joined Rajasthan University, Jaipur as reader in English. The next year, he moved to New Delhi as professor of English at the University of New Delhi. He was a Fulbright fellow at Princeton University, New Jersey and served as a visiting professor at various universities in the United States, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Canada and North Korea. He was also a fellow at Cambridge College in 1991 and worked as columnist for the Indian Express, writing a column talking about books from 1966 to 1973. He died on 29 November 2013 in New Delhi, India.[citation needed]

List of works[edit]


Work Publisher Year
My True Faces Orient 1973
Into Another Dawn Sterling 1977
The English Queens Vision 1979
Sunrise in Fiji Allied 1988
Azadi (Freedom) Arnold-Heinemann & Boston
Houghton Mifflin
The Crown and the Loincloth Vikas 1981
The Salt of Life Allied 1990
The Triumph of the Tricolour Allied 1993
The Gandhi Quartet Allied 1993

Short story collection

Work Publisher Year
The Weird Dance and Other Stories Arya 1965

Uncollected short stories

Work Publisher Year
"Tons" The Statesman 1977
"The Light on the Lake" Illustrated Weekly of India 1984
"The Take Over" Debonair 1984


Work Publisher Year
Moby Dick (for children), adaptation of the novel by Herman Melville Eurasia 1965
A Conversation with J. Krishnamurti Arya 1965
D.H. Lawrence: An Eastern View South Brunswick, NJ, A.S. Barnes 1971
The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's Fiction Vikas New Delhi & Rutherford, New Jersey
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Drugs and the Other Self: An Anthology of Spiritual Transformations Harper 1971
The New Literatures in English Allied 1985
The Bhagavad Gita Pitamber 1987
Jawaharlal Nehru as a Man of Letters Allied 1990


In The New Literatures in English, 1985

Critical Studies on Chaman Nahal

Work Author/editor Publisher Year
Commonwealth Literature in the Curriculum K.L. Goodwin University of Queensland Press 1980
Introduction to The Crown and the Loincloth A Komorov Raduga 1984
Three Contemporary Novelists:
Khushwant Singh, Chaman Nahal, and Salman Rushdie
R.K. Dhawan Classical 1985


Work Publisher Year
Silent Life Roli Books 2005

Children's novels

Work Publisher Year
Akela and the Blue Monster Aruvik & Allied 2007
Akela and the Asian Tsunami Aruvik & Allied 2009
Akela and the UFOs Aruvik & Allied 2009

Literary review[edit]

Chaman Nahal's writings are known to talk about India without any touch of exoticism. Azadi, his novel on the partition of India, is widely considered to be the best of the Indian-English novels written about the traumatic partition which accompanied Indian Independence in 1947 (Quoted from '’Train to Pakistan – Azadi : Vice-versa Journey'’ by Dr. Mangalkumar R. Patil). An autobiographical book, Silent Life, was originally written in English and later translated into 12 languages, including Russian, Hungarian and Sinhalese.[citation needed]

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
Sahitya Akademi Award 1977
Federation of Indian Publishers award 1977
Federation of Indian Publishers award 1979


  1. ^ "Azadi – Some Bitter Realities of Past by Prof. Shubha Tiwari". 6 February 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.