Zulfikar Ghose

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Zulfikar Ghose
Born (1935-03-13) March 13, 1935 (age 86)
Sialkot, Punjab, British India
Occupationnovelist, poet, essayist
EducationKeele University.England.B.A

Zulfikar Ghose (born March 23, 1935) is a Pakistani-American novelist, poet and essayist. He is a resident of Texas, his works are primarily magical realism,[1] blending fantasy and harsh realism.


Born in Sialkot, India (now Pakistan), Ghose grew up as a Muslim.[2][3] His father, Khwaja Mohammed Ghose, was a businessman. In 1942, during the Second World War, the family moved to Bombay (now Mumbai).[4] After the partition of Undivided India into Pakistan and India, Ghose and his family emigrated to England.[5] He graduated from Keele University in 1959,[2] going on to teach at Ealing Mead School in London.[6][1] He became a close friend of Anthony Smith, and of British experimental writer B. S. Johnson,[7] with whom he collaborated on several projects. The three writers met when they served as joint editors of an annual anthology of student poets called Universities' Poetry. Ghose also met English poet Ted Hughes and his wife, the American poet and novelist Sylvia Plath, and American author Janet Burroway, with whom he occasionally collaborated.[1]

While teaching and writing in London from 1963 to 1969, Ghose also freelanced as a sports journalist, reporting on cricket for The Observer newspaper.[8][9] Two collections of his poetry were published, The Loss of India (1964) and Jets From Orange (1967), as were an autobiography called Confessions of a Native-Alien (1965) and his first two novels, The Contradictions (1966) and The Murder of Aziz Khan (1969).

In 1964, Ghose married Helena de la Fontaine,[2] an artist from Brazil (a country he later used as the setting for six of his novels). He moved from London to the United States in 1969 to teach at the University of Texas in Austin[citation needed], where he has lived since.[9]

In the 1970s, Ghose gained international repute with his trilogy The Incredible Brazilian, which American writer Thomas Berger called "a picaresque prose epic of Brazilian history."[citation needed] American travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux called the work "a considerable feat of imagination."[citation needed]

Ghose has written many poems as well as prosaics , fictional and non-fictional works. His books of poetry include The Violent West, A Memory of Asia and Selected Poems. He has written short stories, novels and five books of literary criticism.

Ghose's correspondence with Berger, spanning 40 years, is housed for research at the Harry Ransom Center[citation needed] at the University of Texas at Austin. The letters cover topics such as their writing projects, books they were reading and personal concerns.[10]

Berger's dystopic 1973 novel Regiment of Women was dedicated to Ghose.[citation needed]



  • Statement Against Corpses (1964), short stories, with B. S. Johnson
  • The Contradictions (1966)
  • The Murder of Aziz Khan (1967)
  • The Incredible Brazilians
    • The Native (1972), ISBN 0-333-13093-6
    • The Beautiful Empire (1975), ISBN 0-333-13094-4
    • A Different World (1978), ISBN 0-333-13095-2
  • Crump's Terms (1975), ISBN 0-333-10744-6
  • Hulme's Investigations Into the Bogart Script (1981), ISBN 0-931604-08-7
  • A New History of Torments (1982), ISBN 0-09-147670-4
  • Don Bueno (1983), ISBN 0-09-154230-8
  • Figures of Enchantment (1986), ISBN 0-09-163640-X
  • The Triple Mirror of the Self (1992), ISBN 0-7475-1096-2
  • Veronica and the Góngora Passion: Stories, Fictions, Tales and One Fable (1998), ISBN 0-920661-70-X


  • Confessions of a Native-Alien (1965), autobiography
  • Hamlet, Prufrock and Language (1978), ISBN 0-333-23997-0
  • The Fiction of Reality (1983), ISBN 0-333-29093-3
  • The Art of Creating Fiction (1991), ISBN 0-333-49019-3
  • Shakespeare's Mortal Knowledge: A Reading of the Tragedies (1993), ISBN 0-333-57909-7
  • Beckett's Company (2008), Oxford University Press for Pakistan



Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Good Reads Zulfikar Ghose". Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Zulfikar Ghose", Encyclopædia Britannica.
  3. ^ "The International Literary Quarterly". interlitq.org. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  4. ^ "The Literary Encyclopedia". Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  5. ^ Huang, ed. by Guiyou (2001). Asian American autobiographers : a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. p. 91. ISBN 031331408X.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Coe, Jonathan (2004). Like a fiery elephant : the story of B.S. Johnson ([New paperback edition] ed.). London: Picador. p. 228. ISBN 0330350498.
  7. ^ The B. S. Johnson Society.
  8. ^ "Zulfikar A Ghose - Professor Emeritus", Department of English, The University of Texas at Austin.
  9. ^ a b "‘If poetry and literature are happening, the human spirit is alive’", The Express Tribune, February 13, 2011.
  10. ^ "Zulfikar Ghose: A Preliminary Inventory of an Addition to His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center". Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. Retrieved 29 January 2011.

External links[edit]