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Every now and then showcases the profile and work of a writer (past and present) who has addressed diversity issues in their writing, or their style of writing, or the theme they address, is diverse and different.



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Remembering Renaissance Indian Writer, Chaman Nahal (August 2, 1927-- November 29. 2013)

chaman nahalnahal & wife

Dr. Chaman Nahal, New York @ 1983~~~~~ Dr. Nahal & Dr. Sudarshna Nahal, New Delhi @ 1982-83

 “When you think of the writing of Nahal, the picture of a filigree work of art comes to mind. He is so exquisite in the craftsmanship of using words…”  ~ A.J. Thomas, The Hindu

BUY Chaman Nahal's memoir, Silent Life, published in 2005 by Roli Books, India...very few copies left! This memoir is a rare gem in the autobiographical world! It is an honest, open, bringing tears to one's eyes kind of memoir. The novelist talks about himself without pity or adulation; simply letting the reader know his deepest thoughts without fear. Please click on the link below to see a flyer on the book and details on how to buy the book. For buyers outside of India, the book is available for $4.75/- plus S&H. If there are any problems in opening the flyer, or you have questions about purchasing the book, please contact,

Silent Life Flyer

Please click on the links below or scroll down to visit each subsection:

What some say about Chaman Nahal’s various books
Publications by Chaman Nahal
Websites on/about Chaman Nahal
Dissertations on Chaman Nahal’s works
Research papers or journal articles on Chaman Nahal
Reviews on Chaman Nahal and his books
Short Stories by Chaman Nahal online
Photo Images on Chaman Nahal online
Forthcoming: Seminar in August 2014 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Chaman Nahal

Cover jackets of various books by Chaman Nahal
Other information on Chaman Nahal on this website


Chaman Nahal, well-known Indian novelist passed away on the morning of Friday November 29, 2013; he was 86.  A true renaissance person, Nahal was a professor and scholar, creative writer of novels and short stories, writer of children’s book, managing director of a journal, The Humanities Review and chairperson of the CN Gandhi Foundation,  Nahal is most remembered for his novel AZADI (Freedom) for which he received the Sahitya Akademi award in 1977.  Written originally in English, AZADI was translated into numerous languages, including Urdu and Punjabi.  Nahal also received the Federation of Indian Publishers award in 1977 and 1979.  Nahal’s other works include three scholarly books, nine creative works, three children’s books, one memoir, four other books covering philosophy and biographies and hundreds of articles.  Nahal also wrote a regular column for The Indian Express from 1966-73  Nahal was Professor of English, University of Delhi 1963-1992; besides also lecturing in England, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Italy and other places.  Nahal was that unique renaissance individual; very prolific, constantly reinventing himself and giving his admirers new and different books. “Chaman Nahal's distinction lies in writing about India without any touch of exoticism; he scrupulously avoids the stereotyped "East" of maharajahs, tigers and snakecharmers.” ( ). 

Nahal will be truly missed in the literary world by hundreds of his students, colleagues and fans. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, two grandsons and one grand daughter-in-law.  It is an honor for a writer to have their works taken by a major national library and Chaman Nahal received that honor when a couple of years ago, the Nehru Memorial Library, New Delhi, India acquired his books, his manuscripts, letters from fans, newspaper cuttings and other materials.  A complete listing of these materials at the Nehru memorial Library can be found at:

What some say about Chaman Nahal’s various books

“ Nahal’s work will take place as one of the rare tragic narratives in Indian fiction, intensely felt, poignant.”
~ Mulk Raj Anand

“A classic.”
~ Diana Athill on Azadi

“Full of the flavor of India, the Punjab, and the time.”
~John Kenneth Galbraith on Azadi

“Chaman Nahal is refreshingly unpretentious.”
~ Amrit Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, on My True Faces

“An encounter between love and death, free will and fate, collective obligation and personal desire.”
~ The Statesman, New Delhi, on Into Another Dawn

“A humorous and at times scathingly critical look at the way Indian society is evolving in our cities.”
~ Indian Horizons, New Delhi, on The English Queens

“The picture of Gandhi is most moving and unusually frank.”
~ William Golding on Salt of Life

“Chaman Nahal’s Quartet is likely to make literary history.”
~ Financial Express, New Delhi on The Gandhi Quartet

Press views on Chaman Nahal’s novel AZADI:

“This novel will take its place as one of the rare tragic narratives in Indian fiction, intensely felt, poignant.”

“Told with a confident realism lost to English fiction.”

“Here is India. India colorfully, penetratingly, amusingly and agonizingly. No one but an Indian could have written this book, and not many Indians would do it as well as Chaman Nahal.”

“This is a book very well worth reading.”
~ THE TIMES OF INDIA, New Delhi, India

“A passage to India written by an Indian - with a lyrical loving tone.”

Publications by Chaman Nahal


* My True Faces. New Delhi, Orient, 1973
* Into Another Dawn. New Delhi, Sterling, 1977
* The English Queens. New Delhi, Vision, 1979
* Sunrise in Fiji. New Delhi, Allied, 1988
* Azadi (Freedom). New Delhi, Arnold-Heinemann, and Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1975; London, Deutsch, 1977
* The Crown and the Loincloth. New Delhi, Vikas, 1981
* The Salt of Life. New Delhi, Allied, 1990
* The Triumph of the Tricolour. New Delhi, Allied, 1993
* The Gandhi Quartet. New Delhi, Allied, 1993

Short Stories

* The Weird Dance and Other Stories. New Delhi, Arya, 1965

Uncollected Short Stories

* "Tons," in The Statesman (New Delhi), 12 June 1977
* "The Light on the Lake," in Illustrated Weekly of India (Bombay), 22 July 1984
* "The Take Over," in Debonair (Bombay), August 1985


* Moby Dick (for children), adaptation of the novel by Melville. New Delhi, Eurasia, 1965
* A Conversation with J. Krishnamurti. New Delhi, Arya, 1965
* D.H. Lawrence: An Eastern View. South Brunswick, New Jersey, A.S. Barnes, and London, Yoseloff, 1971
* The Narrative Pattern in Ernest Hemingway's Fiction. New Delhi, Vikas, and Rutherford, New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971
* Editor, Drugs and the Other Self: An Anthology of Spiritual Transformations. New York, Harper, 1971
* The New Literatures in English. New Delhi, Allied, 1985
* The Bhagavad Gita, A New Rendering. New Delhi, Pitamber, 1987
* Jawaharlal Nehru as a Man of Letters. New Delhi, Allied, 1990


* In The New Literatures in English, 1985

Critical Studies

* Commonwealth Literature in the Curriculum edited by K.L. Goodwin, St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1980
* Introduction by A. Komarov to The Crown and the Loincloth, Moscow, Raduga, 1984
* Three Contemporary Novelists: Khushwant Singh, Chaman Nahal, and Salman Rushdie edited by R.K. Dhawan, New Delhi, Classical, 1985


* Silent Life. New Delhi, Roli Books, 2005

Children's Novels

* Akela and the Blue Monster. New Delhi, Aruvik & Allied, 2007
* Akela and the Asian Tsunami. New Delhi, Aruvik & Allied, 2009
* Akela and the UFOs. New Delhi, Aruvik & Allied, 2009

Websites on/about Chaman Nahal (Wikipedia entry on Chaman Nahal) (book on Modern Indian English Fiction by O.P. Mathur; contains chapter on Chaman Nahal) (book on Chaman Nahal’s book: "The Gandhi Quarted": Gandhian Ideology and the Indian Novel by A.V.Rayudu  (book on Azadi and other novels: Five Great Indian Novels by Ashok Thorat) (book on Azadi and other novels on the partition of India: The Theme of Partition in Indian English Novels: A Select Study by Lohit Kumar Ray) (book on Azadi and other novels on the partition of India: Partition A Human Tragedy: A Critical Study of Novels on Partition of Indian Subcontinent by Firoz A Shaikh)

Books, Chapters in Books, and Dissertations on Chaman Nahal

Akademi Awarded Novels in English: Millennium Responses edited by Mithilesh K. Pandey, 2003 (See chapter 11: Chaman Nahal’s Azadi: History as Metaphor by Mukesh Ranjan Verma and chapter 12: Historiographic Metafiction and Chaman Nahal’s Azadi: An Appraisal by A. H. Kak in   

Gandhian Ideology and the Indian Novel: Chaman Nahal's The Gandhi Quartet by A.V. Subha Rayudu, 2000

History in the Novels of Khushwant Singh, Manohar Mangoalkar and Chaman Nahal by Vikas Sharma, 2006 (Unbound)

Indian Fiction In English, edited by Pramod Kumar Sinha, 2001 (See chapter 9, Novel As Indian Voice: A Study in Chaman Nahal)

Modern English Fiction by O.P. Mathur, 1993  

The Novels of Chaman Nahal, A Study: Thematic Analysis of Quest and The Gandhi Quartet by Pasumarthy Usha Rani, 2012

The Theme of Affirmation in the novels of Chaman Nahal by S.R. Ravindranath

South Asian Writing in English on the theme of the partition of India with Special reference to the novels of Bapsi Sidhwa, Khushwant Singh, Chaman Nahal and Shauna Singh Baldwin by Anita Luther  

Research papers or journal articles on Chaman Nahal

On Azadi and other novels on the partition of India by unknown
Punjabis grieve more for loss of identity than the loss of life and property. Nahal understands this crisis of identity and portrays it profoundly than any other Partition writers who either treat it superficially or ignore it totally..."

On Azadi and other novels on the partition of India by Saikat Banerjee (pdf file)
Azadi is a politico-literary novel which uses political insight, objective analysis, and courage of conviction to portray the stark realism of partition in a literary style of rare quality and tremendous power.”

On Azadi by unknown
“...although beginning on a note of ambivalence and uncertainties of national integrity in the face of religious fanaticism, moral degradation and political fragmentation. Azadi closes with the affirmation that a nation ...out lives even annihilating tragedies.”

On Azadi by Ravi Pandurang Meti
Chaman Nahal is the one of the outstanding novelist of the Seventies (1970's)…”

On Azadi by Charan Puneet Singh
“I finished reading this book in under 4 hours and i cried for hours after that. I grew up listening to stories about the partition from my Nanaji. In many ways the story is similar to the countless stories i have heard before.”

On The Gandhi Quartet by P.M. Patil
Nahals Gandhi is very human figure, sometimes full of doubts, introspective, susceptible to human weakness and passion…Nahal is historically objective.”

On The Crown and the Loincloth by G. Chenna Reddy
Chaman Nahal’s ‘The Quartet’ which is a ‘Gandhian Saga’ deals with most of the major incidents and movements of the freedom struggle."

On the theme of partition and independence in Indian literature in English by Naresh Garg
“Azadi by Chaman Nahal has been eulogized for its realistic as well as comprehensive portrayal of the tragedy of the partition."

Reviews on Chaman Nahal and his books

Of Azadi by Shubha Tiwari
Chaman Nahal's ‘Azadi’ is a simple and candid novel about the realities of India's independence and her partition…The novel strips off the layers of romance, valor and chivalry and lays bare certain historical realities which demand attention.”

Of Azadi by Amir Taheri
Azadi has none of the sensationalism of other novels about India's partition…”

Of Azadi by Diksha Sharma
“Recipient of the Sahitya Academy Award, Chaman Nahal who is believed to give the most comprehensive treatment to the subject till date, has significantly contributed to the literature on partition by writing his ‘magnum opus’ Azadi.”

Of Azadi by N. Gunasekaran and V. Peruvalluthi
“As Chaman Nahal himself was a refugee, he writes with remarkable penetration and realism.”

Of Azadi and other works by Mangalkumar R. Patil & Ghali College
Azadi is a novel which is, …historical, political, and above all, a great work of art.”

Of Azadi and other works by Basudeb Chakraborti
The unique feature of Chaman Nahal’s Azadi is that it is wide -ranging in presenting the multifarious views of life through different characters and situations.”

Of Akela and the Blue Monster(Children’s novel) by Ramesh Luthra
“Every child will love to have this novel on his shelf and read it not once but repeatedly. Undoubtedly, it is a lovable addition to children’s literature. It is a fine example of the writer’s masterly narrative skill that will impart the piece in hand a special niche in this genre.”

Of all three of Nahal’s Children’s novels by Ramesh Luthra
VERY rarely does one come across a litterateur who devotes his creative power to writing for children. It is indeed creditable on the part of Chaman Nahal, a reputed writer, to have come up with the Akela trilogy—Akela and the Blue Monster, Akela and the Asian Tsunami and Akela and the UFOs—for young readers. The trilogy exudes freshness and an aroma worth any literary work meant for children.”

Of Akela and the Blue Monster (Chaman Nahal’s second children’s novel)
“Every child will love to have this novel on his shelf and read it not once but repeatedly. Undoubtedly, it is a lovable addition to children’s literature. It is a fine example of the writer’s masterly narrative skill that will impart the piece in hand a special niche in this genre.”

Of A Silent Life (Chaman Nahal’s memoir) by A.J. Thomas
“As a literary autobiography, it is a rarity… When you think of the writing of Nahal, the picture of a filigree work of art comes to mind. He is so exquisite in the craftsmanship of using words… The book is full of interesting details that will keep the curious literary buff absorbed…”

Of A Silent Life (Chaman Nahal’s memoir) by Anonymous
“…a memoir significant in today’s literary context, as well as an absorbing cameo of an earlier time and place.”

On writing for children by Chaman Nahal himself

Short Stories by Chaman Nahal online

The Silver Lining, complete story available online:

Comprehensive Lesson Plan on The Silver Lining developed for Grade VIII by Atul Vidyalaya

Photo Images of Chaman Nahal and his books online

Seminar in August 2014 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Chaman Nahal

A symposium to commemorate Dr. Chaman Nahal’s birth anniversary was held on August 2, 2014 in New Delhi, India. The theme of the Symposium was, Remembering Renaissance Writer, Chaman Nahal on his First Birth Anniversary. Here is a short report on the symposium in the Sahitya Akademi newsletter, (p.4-5).

Acknowledgements and respects to Chaman Nahal on his passing:

THE "MINUTES OF THE 84TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE UNIVERSITY COURT FRIDAY, THE 28TH MARCH, 2014 AT 2.00 P.M. NEW CONVENTION HALL, VICE-REGAL LODGE UNIVERSITY OF DELHI, DELHI-110007" recorded the loss of Chaman Nahal to the academic community, "In the death of Prof. Chaman Nahal the University has lost a scholar and dedicated teacher." (p.9-10)

The Annual Report (2014-15) of the India International Centre, New Delhi, India: (p.59)


Cover jackets of various books by Chaman Nahal

Nahal's children's novels




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