Reading, Writing, Living in an Era of Pandemic

  • Muneeza Shamsie Independent Scholar/Literary Historian


In this memoir, the author’s reflections and observations of Karachi during Covid-19, incorporate anecdotes of her family life today, alongside a contemplation of past and present. This incorporates the dangers of typhoid and tuberculosis witnessed by her mother in pre-Partition India, She considers too, the portrayal of the 1919-1920 Spanish flu in the novels The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (2020) and Twilight in Delhi by Ahmed Ali (1940) as well as the many references to loss and suffering caused by pandemics in the Life and Letters of Ghalib. The exploration of history, in turn, provides a foil to  medical advances today, and new world opened out by internet as a means of communication, entertainment and interaction While the discussions of The Stained Glass Window: Stories of the Pandemic in Pakistan edited by Taha Kehar and Sana Munir (2020) and Maniza Naqvi’s A Guest in the House (2018),  a Karachi memoir, pose important questions on changing times.

Invited Contributions