translated from the Urdu by Aamer Hussein and Carole Smith
Aamer Hussein is a contributing editor at Asymptote. He was born in Karachi in 1955 and has lived in London since the '70s. A graduate of SOAS, he has been publishing fiction and criticism since the mid-1980s. He is the author of five collections of short fiction, including Insomnia (2007), and two novels, Another Gulmohar Tree (2009) and The Cloud Messenger (2011). He has also edited an anthology of writing from Pakistan called Kahani (2005). His first selection of an essay and four fictions in Urdu, from which this story is taken, will appear in the journal Dunyazad (Karachi) later this year. He is Professorial Writing Fellow at Southampton University.
Carole Smith had had poems and articles published before applying to study creative writing with Aamer Hussein at Southampton University. Five years later, she is about to submit as part of her PhD thesis a novel examining, through the lives of its four protagonists, how greatly the expectations of and pressures on young women in England have changed since the 1920s.
She was born in Southampton, then as a teenager lived in Cyprus and Germany, where her father served with the army. She continued to travel after her marriage, living and working in Kuala Lumpur and Washington DC. In 1978 she returned to England to join Hansard as a reporter; and retired as Editor of Debates, House of Lords, in 2003, when she and her husband moved to The New Forest. This gave her time initially to complete a degree in art history, her other great interest apart from literature.
Julia Sanches is Brazilian by birth but has lived in New York, Mexico City, Lausanne, Edinburgh and Barcelona. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Philosophy and English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and a Masters in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She was runner-up in MPT's poetry in translation competition and has translated work from Spanish that has been published in Suelta. She works as a freelance translator, private teacher of English and Portuguese, and as a reader for Random House Mondadori. She is currently learning her sixth language and living in her sixth country.