I would not be upset if readers judged my book’s insides by its gorgeous cover.
The painting is by Zahoor-ul-Akhlaq (1941–99), a prominent South Asian artist who spent most of his life in the city of Lahore. There are to my mind significant parallels between Zahoor’s painting and N. M. Rashed’s poetry, particularly in their relation to tradition. This painting is untitled but usually referred to as “Falling Bird.”
For those readers who know Urdu, the cover reminds me of a poem of Rashed’s that begins:
ہمیں یاد ہے وہ درخت جس سے چلے ہیں ہم
hameñ yād hai vuh daraḳht jis se chale haiñ ham
We remember that tree from which we departed
The book will be out in August with University of California Press. That's the press of my undergraduate alma mater, so I am thrilled to be publishing with them, and they have been great to work with. The book is in the South Asia Across the Disciplines series.
I am traveling to the Association for Asian Studies conference this week in Philadelphia. I have heard from friends that traveling is a great time to write blog posts, so I hope to post more soon!