This book is Kishwar Naheed’s response to those who are quick to label a woman as bad. It is a searing indictment of a society that uses customs, religion, and even brute force to keep women down. She hits out hard and fearlessly at social and political injustices and at the materialism and sham religiosity she sees around her. It is what you would expect of one of Pakistan’s leading feminist poets who is known for her defiance and outspokenness inspite of being born to a conservative family in pre-partition India. Rich in literary, historical, and cultural allusions, A Bad Woman’s Story is written in a punchy, witty style that keeps the reader engaged and entertained throughout the book.
One of the best known feminist poets of Pakistan Kishwar Naheed was born in 1940 in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, India. She moved to Lahore at the time of partition of the subcontinent in 1947. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1968, followed by a collection of nazms, translations of foreign poetry, and many works in free verse. Her autobiography was published in 1994, and her collected poetic work titled Dasht-i-Qais men Laila was published in 2001. Her poetry has been translated into English and Spanish.
Durdana Soomro is the author of Karachi: Pleasure Gardens of a Raj City (2007) and co-author of Bengal Raag, an account of twins coming of age in Bangladesh in the period leading up to the 1971 war. Born in Dhaka, she spent many years in Amman, Riyadh, Istanbul, and London. Her peripatetic life has led to an interest in languages. She studied Arabic at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and also speaks French. She has translated the work of prominent Pakistani writers from Urdu to English, some included in the anthology Fault Lines (2008). She lives in Karachi and is an avid golfer.