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You Can Now Read “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” in Urdu

The best selling novel by Mohammad Hanif gets an Urdu version.

A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Mohammed Hanif’s “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” is finally getting an Urdu transition. Following the success of the book after it’s release a decade ago, it has now been translated into Urdu.

The book was released in English in 2008. Previously the Pakistani military satire was thought to be more than the general public could handle.

Pakistani author Mohammed Hanif’s “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” is a fictional tale explaining General Zia-ul-Haq’s assassination. With bumbling generals, many assassination plots, and a queer love affair, the book had never been released in Urdu.


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The best seller is internationally acclaimed. It was also short-listed for the Booker Prize. At the time critics compared Mohammed Hanif to famous satire writers Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut.

About Mohammed Hanif

The former fighter pilot turned journalist, novelist and librettist is best known for the 2008 novel that laid down conspiracies behind Zia-ul-Haq’s assassination in 1988.

A Case of Exploding Mangoes” introduced Pakistani readers to its unique brand of dark humor.

Yet even the dark humor and fiction cannot mask the novel’s strong critique of Pakistan’s military establishment.

Mohammed Hanif, a former military man and journalist, explains that his critique has nothing to do with his love for the Armed Forces.


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Urdu is Pakistan’s national language and Urdu content tends to be more carefully censored, given its broader audience. Meanwhile with its niche set of readers, English gets plenty of leeway. Which explains why the novel wasn’t translated into Urdu right away.

According to Hanif, a publisher sat on the Urdu translation of the book for years, citing potential repercussions. Now the book’s publisher Hoori Noorani says “the time for a backlash has passed”.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Hanif’s “Red Birds” a book about the United States war on terror in Afghanistan. It is told from the perspective of an American soldier and many other supporting characters.

Written by Lens Staff

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