INTERVIEW: Yasmeen Hameed
Yasmeen Hameed is a poet and translator and teaches at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. She has published five books of poetry in Urdu and edited Pakistani Urdu Verse, which introduces 63 twentieth century Urdu poets in English translation
What are you reading these days?
Unless it’s fiction, I always read two or three books at a time. These days I am reading Akhtarul Iman’s Kulliyât, the opening pages of Rumi’s Masnavî and A History of Writing by Albertine Gaur.
Which books are on your bedside table?
They keep changing but the ones that continue to remain there are the Qurân, Dîvân-i-Ghâlib and three dictionaries. These days I also have with me Urdû Kç Zarb-ul Misl Ashâr, collected and compiled by Muhammad Shamsul Haq.
Which titles are on your bucket list of books?
Several; it’s a long list. But I am hoping to very soon find time to read at least five essays from Postmodernism edited by Stuart Sim. Another book that I am waiting to read is Japanese Death Poems compiled by Yoel Hoffmann.
What is the one book/author you feel everyone must read?
There cannot be a single title for everyone to read. But as far as I see it, there is nothing like good poetry. Why? Because it’s all about discovering yourself. If one is interested in fiction then Garcia Marquez and James Coetzee are must reads.
What are you planning to reread?
Kulliyat-i-Meeraji and the three volumes of Silsila-i-Kausar by Sheikh Muhammad Ikram.
What is the one book you read because you thought it would make you appear smarter?
Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Read the first two chapters.
What is the one book you started reading but could not finish?
More than one. Some of them I intend to finish, others I have forgotten.
What is your favourite childhood book or story?
The Naughtiest Girl in School by Enid Blyton.