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Saadat Hassan Manto

Saadat Hassan Manto Books - The Best Collection of Literary Works

Saadat Hassan Manto was a prominent Pakistani writer who is widely regarded as one of the most celebrated and controversial authors of the 20th century. Born in Ludhiana, India in 1912, Manto is known for his bold and unflinching portrayals of the human condition, particularly in the context of the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. His works are characterized by their stark realism, dark humor, and unapologetic exploration of taboo subjects such as sex, violence, and societal hypocrisy.

Manto's literary career spanned over two decades and produced a vast body of work that includes short stories, essays, and film scripts. His most famous works include "Toba Tek Singh," "Thanda Gosht," and "Khol Do," which are widely regarded as masterpieces of Urdu literature. Manto's writing is notable for its ability to capture the complexities and contradictions of human nature, often through the lens of marginalized and oppressed communities.

Today, Manto's works continue to resonate with readers around the world, and his legacy as a trailblazing writer and social critic remains as relevant as ever. This article will explore some of the most notable books by Saadat Hassan Manto, providing a brief overview of their themes, style, and impact on Urdu literature.


Saadat Hasan Manto was a renowned Pakistani writer, playwright, and author of over 100 radio plays and features. He is considered one of the greatest writers of short stories in the South Asian literary world. Manto was born on May 11, 1912, in Samrala, Punjab, British-ruled India. He passed away on January 18, 1955, in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

Early Life

Manto was born to a Kashmiri family in Samrala, Ludhiana. His father, Maulvi Ghulam Hussain, was a judge by profession. Manto was born of his father's second wife. Due to his father's harsh temperament, Manto did not receive his father's love. Manto's education and training were left to his retired father, who was unable to provide him with the support he needed.


Manto began his career as a writer in the 1930s and quickly became a prominent figure in the literary world. He wrote extensively about the social issues of the time, including the partition of India and Pakistan. Manto's work was known for its raw and realistic portrayal of society, which often included taboo topics such as sex, prostitution, and violence.

Manto's most notable works include "Toba Tek Singh," "Thanda Gosht," and "Khol Do." His writing style was marked by his ability to create complex characters and vivid descriptions of their surroundings. Manto's work has been translated into several languages and has been widely acclaimed by critics and readers alike.


Manto passed away on January 18, 1955, in Lahore, Pakistan. He was only 42 years old at the time of his death. Manto's legacy lives on through his writing, which continues to inspire and challenge readers to this day. Despite his short life, Manto's contribution to the literary world has been immense, and his work remains an essential part of the South Asian literary canon.

Saadat Hassan Manto Books List

Thanda Gosht | ٹھنڈا گوشت
Manto Ke Afsane | منٹو کے افسانے
Manto Kay Mutnaza Afsanay | منٹو کے متنازع افسانے
Baadshahat Ka Khatima | بادشاہت کا خاتمہ
Upar Neeche Aur Darmiyan | اوپر نیچے اور درمیان
Sarak Ke Kinare | سڑک کے کنارے
Lazat Sang | لذت سنگ
Khali Botlain Khali Dabbay | خالی بوتلیں خالی ڈبے
Dhuwaan | دھواں
Chughad | چغد
Burqay | برقعے
Baghair Aijazat | بغیر اجازت
Aatish Paray | آتش پارے
Yazeed | یزید
Talkh, Tarsh, Shereen | تلخ، ترش، شیریں
Shikari Aurtain | شکاری عورتیں
Sarkando Kay Peechay | سر کنڈوں کے پیچھے
Sarak Kanaray | سڑک کنارے
Rati Tola Maasha | رتی، تولہ، ماشہ
Phundnay | پھندنے
Namrood Ki Khudai | نمرود کی خدائی
Manto Kay Mazameen | منٹوکے مضامین
Mai Naanki | مائی نانکی
Mai Jantay | مائی جنتے
Loud Speaker | لاوڈ سپیکر
Manto - Baqiyat | منٹو باقیات
Manto Dramay | منٹو ڈرامے
Manto Kahanian | منٹو کہانیاں
Manto Numa | منٹو نما
Manto Rama | منٹو راما
Siyah Hashiye | سیاہ حاشئے

Controversies and Censorship

Saadat Hassan Manto's writings were often considered controversial and faced censorship in both India and Pakistan. His frank portrayal of sexuality, violence, and social taboos often led to outrage among conservative sections of society.

Banned Books

Many of Manto's books were banned in both India and Pakistan. In India, his book "Bu" was banned for its depiction of a relationship between a woman and a horse. In Pakistan, his book "Thanda Gosht" faced a similar fate for its depiction of a sexual encounter between a Sikh and a Muslim woman during the Partition of India.

Legal Troubles

Manto's writings also landed him in legal trouble. He faced charges of obscenity for his short story "Khol Do," which depicted the trauma faced by a young girl during the Partition of India. The story was deemed too explicit and was banned in both India and Pakistan.

Manto's work also faced legal challenges in Pakistan, where he was accused of undermining the morality of society. His book "Dhuan" was banned for its portrayal of a prostitute as a sympathetic character.

Despite the controversies and censorship, Manto's works continue to be celebrated for their bold and unflinching portrayal of society. His writings offer a glimpse into the social and political realities of the time, and continue to be relevant even today.

Legacy and Influence

Saadat Hassan Manto's literary legacy and influence continue to inspire writers, artists, and filmmakers around the world. His unique writing style, bold themes, and realistic portrayal of human emotions have made him one of the most celebrated and controversial writers of the 20th century.

Influence on Literature and Culture

Manto's writing was often controversial, provocative, and unapologetically honest. He was a master of the short story, and his works often explored themes such as poverty, violence, and sexuality. Manto's writing style was characterized by his use of colloquial language and his ability to capture the essence of everyday life.

Manto's influence on literature and culture has been profound. His works have inspired generations of writers, and his legacy continues to shape the literary landscape of South Asia. Many contemporary writers cite Manto as a major influence on their work.

Adaptations and Translations

Manto's works have been adapted into numerous films, plays, and television series. His short story "Toba Tek Singh" has been adapted into a play, a film, and an opera. In 2015, a biopic titled "Manto" was released, which explored the life and works of the writer.

Manto's works have also been translated into several languages, including English, French, and German. These translations have helped to introduce Manto's writing to a wider audience and have contributed to his global legacy.

Honors and Awards

Manto's contributions to literature have been recognized with several honors and awards. In 1955, he was awarded the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for his collection of short stories "Afsane." In 2005, Manto was posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award in Pakistan.

Manto's legacy continues to be celebrated through various literary events and festivals. In 2012, the centenary of Manto's birth was celebrated with several events and exhibitions around the world. Today, Manto is remembered as a literary icon and a voice for the marginalized and oppressed.

Popularity and Recognition

Manto's popularity and recognition have only grown over the years. His works continue to be studied and analyzed by literary scholars, and his influence can be seen in the works of contemporary writers. His stories have been adapted into several films, plays, and television series, and his message of social justice and equality continues to inspire people around the world.

Impact on Literature and Society

Manto's impact on literature and society cannot be overstated. His stories and essays have brought attention to important social and political issues, such as prostitution, partition, and gender inequality. His realistic portrayal of human emotions and his unique writing style have inspired generations of writers and artists. His message of social justice and equality continues to resonate with people around the world.