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Distributed for Zubaan Books

The Hour Past Midnight

Translated by Lakshmi Holmström
Salma is a major Indian political leader, who in 2003 faced obscenity charges and violent threats for her collection of erotic poetry. Undeterred, she’s back with a beautiful, evocative, and poetic novel—now available for the first time in English.

The Hour Past Midnight is a rare glimpse into the lives of Muslim women in traditionalist South Indian families. Salma gives us Rabia who is caught sneaking off to see a movie with friends and is beaten into submission by her mother, Zohra. There is Firdaus, a beautiful girl of marriageable age, who on her wedding night turns to the wealthy groom selected for her and says, “I’m not going to live with you; don’t touch me!” Salma weaves together the stories of Rabia, Zohra, and Firdaus, who all live in a world dominated by men, achingly portraying their rebellions, compromises, friendships, falling apart, and coming back together. In this lyrical and powerful novel, we get an honest—sometimes uplifting, sometimes heartbreaking—account of the lives of Muslim women in rural Tamil Nadu.

480 pages | 5 x 8 | © 2016


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“Salma’s is not a casual book about lifting the veil and catching a voyeuristic glimpse of the Muslim world. Instead she pushes away a host of cliches.”

Outlook India

“With immense clarity and quiet rage. . . Salma summons up an often claustrophobic view of womanhood hemmed in by severe orthodoxy. . . . A densely decorated novel, stuffed with local detail.”

Time Out Delhi

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