I Must Be Very Late But…

I just wanted to mention–because I was out of town all last week–that I was thoroughly impressed by The Quilt and Other Stories. One thing I wanted to mention in class, which I was unfortunately not able to, was about the first story in the novel. Seeing as how the title pretty much places a spotlight on the story of The Quilt, I was expecting it to open with it. However, it instead opened with The Veil. I may be one of the only ones who puts too much importance into this, but I find this to be very significant. The way in which the novel opens, I feel, is one of the most important decisions to make as an author. I’m not sure of the original author intended to do this, or if the editor wanted to arrange it in this way. However, I feel like The Veil really placed a specific kind of lens on my reading of the collection of stories.

What about you guys and girls? Did you notice the same thing too? Or am I just trying to figure out some way to talk only about the beginning of the book?

 

P.S. Better late than never to post in here, right?

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One thought on “I Must Be Very Late But…

  1. I wrote about The Quilt and Other Stories for Dr. Jani’s other class, and I’d agree with you, definitely. The thing that’s unique about Chughtai as a female postcolonial writer is the way she seems to favor broader issues of class, marriage politics, and faith to the issue of specifically feminist ideas of female oppression and struggle.

    However, as you’ve pointed out, I think opening up this broad range of topics and perspectives with a story that is very easily read as a story of female resistance and agency in a place where a man is trying to take it from her, is very intentional. With you, I don’t know who was responsible for the particular arrangement, but putting “The Veil” at the beginning sets the tone of the collection and makes the statement that, even though the stories are largely about things other than women’s rights, they should still be read with particular attention to the female characters and the perspectives they have in each story.

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