Phoenix Fled – Book

Series namePublications

In 1953, Attia Hosain published her first book ‘Phoenix Fled’, a collection of short stories, with Chatto and Windus. In 1988, ‘Phoenix Fled’ was re-issued by Virago with an introduction by writer Anita Desai. The introduction and the first story, “The First Party”, have been digitised. “The First Party” explores the conflicts between tradition and westernisation as a young Indian bride has to come to terms with her husband’s western habits of “drinking” and “smoking”. Hosain’s stories are rich portraits of her own experience of growing in a feudal or taluqdari household. As stated by Lakshmi Holmström in her essay “Attia Hosain: her life and work”, which was published in the Indian Review of Books: “It is immediately apparent that the sub-text of these stories is the tension between the author’s persona as taluqdari daughter, and her persona as a socialist”. The stories often explore the lives of women who come from different social backgrounds.

Read the introduction and the first story, “The First Party”

Date of Creation / Publication1953, 1988
Associated Person/ OrganisationHosain, Attia
Collection and Reference NumberAttia Hosain Collection (GB 2661 AH)
Catalogue NumberAH/PUB/1
CopyrightThe Creator and/ or associated person or organisation where applicable
Access to originalsThe originals are located with the Literary Estate of Attia Hosain.
Series notesAttia Hosain began her career as a journalist in India by writing for newspapers such as 'The Statesman' and 'The Pioneer' in Calcutta. She also published various short stories in periodicals in India. It was after moving to England, in 1947, however, that she began to write professionally and published two books with Chatto and Windus: the collection of short stories 'Phoenix Fled' (1953) and the novel 'Sunlight on a Broken Column' (1961).
Collection notesThe material from the Attia Hosain collection consists of items relating to her publications, such as extracts from her novel and her collection of short stories, biographical information such as photographs, and miscellaneous items such as transcripts from BBC broadcasts she made and letters.