Intizar Hussain was a Pakistani writer of Urdu novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction.
The Seventh Door, Leaves and Basti are among his books that have been translated into English. As someone born in the Indian subcontinent who later migrated to Pakistan during the 1947 Partition, a perennial theme in Hussain’s works deals with the nostalgia linked to his life in the pre-Partition era.
The Lahore Literary Festival presented him with a lifetime achievement award and, in 2007, Hussain received the Pakistani civil award Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) from the President of Pakistan. Newsweek Pakistan called him ‘Pakistan’s most accomplished living author’ in 2014 and, in September of the same year, Hussain was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
He was also the first ever winner of the prestigious Premchand Fellowship awarded by Sahitya Akademi of India in 2007. In 2016, the Pakistani Academy of Letters (PAL) announced the ‘Intizar Hussain Award’, to be awarded each year to a literary figure.
He was shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize 2013 for his entire body of work.
Between 2005 - 2015, the Man Booker International Prize recognised one writer for their achievement in fiction.
Worth £60,000, the prize was awarded every two years to a living author who had published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The winner was chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there were no submissions from publishers.
The Man Booker International Prize was different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlighted one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In focusing on overall literary excellence, the judges considered a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel.