Intizar Hussain

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Intizar Hussain
Born (1923-12-07)7 December 1923
Dibai, British India
Died 2 February 2016(2016-02-02) (aged 92)
Lahore, Pakistan
Occupation Writer, Poet
Language Urdu
Nationality Pakistani
Alma mater Meerut College

Intizar Hussain (Urdu: انتظار حسین‎; December 7, 1923 – February 2, 2016) was a Pakistani writer of Urdu novels, short stories, poetry and nonfiction. He is widely recognised as a leading literary figure of Pakistan.[1][2][3]


Hussain was born in Dibai, Bulandshahr, India in 1923, and migrated to Pakistan in 1947. His exact date of birth is not known, sources indicate that he was born on 21 December of 1922, 1923 or 1925. After passing Intermediate in 1942 he gained a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Urdu literature at Meerut College in 1944 and 1946 respectively.[1]

He wrote short stories, novels and poetry in Urdu, and also columns for Dawn and Daily Express.[1][2] The Seventh Door, Leaves and Basti are among his books that have been translated into English. His other writings include Hindustan Se Aakhri Khat, Agay Samander hai, Shehr-e-Afsos, Jataka Tales, Janam Kahanian and Wo Jo Kho Gaye.[2][4] His novel Basti is based on Pakistani history.[1]

Hussain's wife Aliya Begum passed away in 2004. In 2007, Hussain received the Pakistani civil award Sitara-i-Imtiaz. He was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013 after Frances Pritchett translated his Basti into English. He received a lifetime achievement award at the Lahore Literary Festival. Newsweek Pakistan called him "Pakistan’s most accomplished living author" in 2014.[3] In September of the same year, Hussain was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.[5]


On February 2, 2016 he died at National Hospital, DHA at Lahore on 2:45 p.m, after contracting pneumonia.[6][7] The Indian Express termed him the "best-known Pakistani writer in the world" after Manto.[8]


Hussain believed that two forces had risen in contemporary Pakistan: women and the mullahs. He also acknowledged his study and the influence of Buddhist texts and the Mahabharata.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "Legendary writer Intizar Hussain passes away". Dawn. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Intizar Hussain, leading Urdu writer, dies aged 92". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Ahmed, Khaled (6 October 2014). "Silent Type". Newsweek Pakistan. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Raj, Ali (2 February 2016). "Intizar Hussain – the seller of dreams". The Daily Tribune. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Hommage de Fleur Pellerin, ministre de la Culture et de la Communication, à Intizar Hussain" (in French). Ministry of Culture. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  6. ^ Chilton, Martin (2 February 2016). "Intizar Hussain, Pakistan's 'greatest fiction writer', dies at 92". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "Intizar Hussain: Mourning an Urdu literary icon". BBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Ahmed, Khaled (31 October 2014). "An escape from ideology". The Indian Express. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Imtiaz, Huma (13 February 2011). "FESTIVAL: The best of Urdu & other Pakistani languages". Dawn. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 

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