Sunlight on a Broken Column – Attia Hosain
Laila, orphaned daughter of a distinguished Muslim family, is brought up by her orthodox aunts who keep purdah. At 15, she moves to the home of a “liberal” uncle in Lucknow.
Here, during the 1930s, as the struggle for independence sharpens, Laila is surrounded by relatives and university friends caught up in politics. But Laila is unable to commit herself to any cause: her own fight for independence is a struggle with traditional life as she falls in love with a man not chosen by her family. With its beautiful evocation of India, its political insight and unsentimental understanding of the human heart, this is a classic of Muslim life.