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Life and works of K̲h̲vājah Alt̤áf Ḥusain Ḥālī, 1837-1914, Urdu poet.
On Darkover, it is the era of the Hundred Kingdoms - a time of nearly continuous war and bloody disputes between minor kings who seek to increase their power by usurping their neighbours' domains. A time when Towers are conscripted to produce terrifying laran weapons - weapons which kill from afar, poisoning the very land itself for decades to come. In this dark time, there seems no limit to the violence men are willing to wage against their adversaries in the name of power. But in this terrifying time of greed and imperialism, two powerful men have devoted their lives to changing their world and eliminating these terrible weapons. For years King Carolin of Hastur and his close friend, Varzil Ridenow have dreamed of a world without war. Now they petition the domains of Darkover to adopt a decree that they call the Compact. Their Compact, a law based on honour, will ban all distance weapons, thus forcing one who seeks to kill another to fight hand to hand and face equal risk. But while Varzil and Carolin continue their difficult campaign to bring peace to Darkover, another man hides in the alleys of Thendara, biding his time, and plotting the destruction of these two heroic men. For Eduin Delucido, the renegade laranzu who disappeared during the battle which nearly destroyed Hestral Tower, still lives . . . and lives only to see the demise of Carolin Hastur and his entire clan!
G.V. Desani broke his silence forty years after the appearance of his classic novel, All About H. Hatterr, with this volume of twenty-three stories and one long prose poem, only the second full-length book of his fiction ever to be published. Many of the stories appeared first in literary anthologies and magazines over the past thirty years, including The Noble Savage (edited by Saul Bellow), Illustrated Weekly of India, Transatlantic Review, and Boston University Journal. The stories are mostly written in the humorous mode of his novel, relying upon comic timing and his keen sense of the incongruities in contemporary life. They often captivate in the same way as Indres Shah's Sufi learning tales, and the titles alone convey a sense of the interpenetration of India's cultures: "Suta Abandoned," "Mephisto's Daughter," "The Second Mrs. Was Wed in a Nightmare," "Gypsy Jim Brazil to Kumari Kinshino," "Country Life, Country Folk, Cobras, Thok," ..".Since Nation Must Export, Smithers," "The Lama Arupa." Whether send-ups of colonialism or lampoons of conventionality, there is a seriousness to Desani's comedy that crosses cultural boundaries and racial identification. The long prose-poem, "Hali," was originally issued in 1950, adapted for the stage in London, broadcast several times over BBC radio, and then, after being pirated three times, was suppressed by the author for twenty years until this publication. "Hali" is a complementary opposite to All About H. Hatterr: it is the writer's vision of cosmic creation and human destiny, marrying Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and other Indian religious traditions into a cathartic drama. E.M. Forster said of it: "Private mythologies are dangerous devices. You have succeeded wonderfully... It keeps evoking heights above the summit of normal achievement where the highest aspirations reach." The Times Literary Supplement termed it "haunting," and The Librarian declared it "as near a work of genius as one can judge." This is the definitive fourth edition, and also the first authorized U.S. publication of this work.
This memoir takes us adventuring on sailing ships through “flying boats” to jet airplanes, exploring the author’s Hawai`i vignettes, “Letters from Dacca”, travel stories, and stories of her sea captain father--his own nautical story embedded at book’s end. We learn how life events led to rediscovery of the Hawaiian language, the author’s blood legacy, and how she accomplished her own legacy of important work. We gallop, sail and swim near Lanikai with a young girl at an earlier, more gentle time on O`ahu. We learn of work, romance, marriage and the beginning of life as a family. We watch with that young mother the bombing of Pearl Harbor, how she shields her baby from strafing while wondering if her engineer husband at dockside is alive. Hali`a, A Legacy of Language is an account of a pono (good, beneficial) life of trust in its many decades as they unfolded, bringing the author important work to be done in Hawai`i that became entwined with her passion for learning and correctly translating the Hawaiian language, especially relating to land deeds and rights to the `aina, the land, for people of Hawaiian heritage. We share the joy of an inquiring mind expanding and questioning with the opportunities that came for travel and residency abroad, and resultant contrast and comparison with home and different cultural ways in Hawai`i. The individuality of “Aunty Hali`a’s” life `olelo (story) reflects the experiences of one daughter of Hawai`i, but by its very individuality offers a universal connection with people, their sensibilities, and places around the globe. All of these parts merge in the telling of the serendipity of a journey as exciting and challenging as the journeys that brought her master mariner father to Hawai`i at an earlier time.

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