An NYRB Classics OriginalBasti is a beautifully written reckoning with thetragic history of Pakistan. Basti means settlement, a common place,and Intizar Husain's extraordinary novel begins with a mythic, evenmystic, vision of harmony between old and young, man and woman,Muslim and Hindu. Then Zakir, the hero, wakes to the modern world.Crowds gather. Slogans echo. Cities burn. Whether hunkered downwith family or furtively meeting to exchange news with friends incafés, Zakir is alone in a country lost to the politics ofloneliness.