Scattered Leaves offers sixteen stories, translated by Dr. Syed Sarwar Hussain. These stories are written by some of the finest and most well-known writers of Urdu today – including Shafi Mashhadi, Zakiya Mashhadi, Shomail Ahmed, Shaukat Hayat, Hussain-ul Haq, Abdus Samad, and Qasim Khursheed. Each writer in this volume is unique in his or her style, but all of them are bound by a common history, since they were all born in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, during the first half of the 20th century. These are tales about ordinary men and women, and the challenges they faced and the experiences they encountered in a menacingly class-ridden, morally corrupt, and financially devastated social order. Every story in this collection appeals universally to our sense of distrust and dread about human nature. The stories lead us into a world shaped by the inner and outer conflicts that have wrecked the provincial life of people in the state, but in doing so they reveal the larger social, moral, and political chaos that has devastated the lives of ordinary men and women in the Indian sub-continent. Ultimately, they testify to the depth of human life and reflect upon its mysteries. These short stories masterfully lay bare the whole fabric of Indian society. They capture the dilemma that the characters find themselves in, and a terrible sense of alienation – both within and without – that defines the existential crisis they are going through. The title of the book is inspired by the tales in this collection, which contains a wide variety of stories tied together in one place. The stories are brought to the English reader inaccurate, modern translations, with originality and poetic grace. The cultural concepts or Urdu words, that are not translatable are annotated in the Glossary. This permits the retention of some Urdu terms in order to be faithful to the cultural setting of the stories, without alienating readers who are not familiar with such terms. This anthology presents to the perceptive English reader a selection of stories comparable in excellence to short fiction written in any other language.