Umrao Jan Ada

Umrao Jan Ada, published more than a hundred years ago, was the first true novel in Urdu. It tells the story of a Lucknawi as a brilliant poet and singer. Documented by a close friend and supposedly dictated by Umrao Jan, the novel weaves the courtesan s story with interspersions of poetry, exploration of social dynamics, and the author s radical subtext with regard to patriarchal double standards.