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The Chronicle

Intizar Husain
Translated by Matt Reeck
Penguin Classics
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Set in the terrifying times of Zia-ul-Haq's rule, The Chronicle tells the epic story of a family and its illustrious homes. As Ikhlaq, the main character, struggles to build a home in Lahore, the reader is introduced to a darkly comedic and dramatic chain of events. These events are interspersed closely with Ikhlaq's exploration of the tazkirah, a family chronicle, which inspires him to write its last chapter-the story of his life and times. The Chronicle is an abiding tale of Ikhlaq's ever-changing life, and the document that chronicles his family's long history going back to Persia serves as the imaginative soundboard of his life. Mixing the narrative styles of Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic myth and legend with fast-paced contemporary prose, Husain proves once again his mastery of diverse narrative forms.