Skip to main content
Cover for The Mirror of Beauty

The Mirror of Beauty

The Mirror of Beauty

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi


List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


It is the sunset of the Mughal Empire. The splendour of imperial Delhi flares one last time. The young daughter of a craftsman in the city elopes with an officer of the East India Company. And so we are drawn into the story of Wazir Khanam: a dazzlingly beautiful and fiercely independent woman who takes a series of lovers, including a Navab and a Mughal prince--and whom history remembers as the mother of the famous poet Dagh. But it is not just one life that this novel sets out to capture: it paints in rapturous detail an entire civilization.
Beginning with the story of an enigmatic and gifted painter in a village near Kishangarh, "The Mirror of Beauty "embarks on an epic journey that sweeps through the death-giving deserts of Rajputana, the verdant valley of Kashmir and the glorious cosmopolis of Delhi, the craft of miniature painting and the art of carpet designing, scintillating musical performances and recurring paintings of mysterious, alluring women. Its scope breathtaking, its language beguiling, and its style sumptuous, this is a work of profound beauty, depth and power.

Praise For The Mirror of Beauty: The Mirror of Beauty

"A magical book. Shamsur Rahman Faruqi weaves history and illusion into one beautiful pattern. He clothes us richly in our past"--Nadeem Aslam

"A defining work of literature."--Musharraf Ali Farooqi

"An erudite, amazing historical novel, elegiac in tone and written with heartfelt attention to the details and the rituals of a lost culture."--Orhan Pamuk

Penguin Global, 9780670086757, 984pp.

Publication Date: December 18, 2013

About the Author

Acclaimed writer Shamsur Rahman Faruqi is also modern Urdu's most celebrated critic. He was editor and publisher of the highly regarded literary journal "Shabkhoon, " and is the author of a landmark four-volume study of the poet Mir Taqi Mir, and another four-volume work on Urdu's immense oral romance, "Dastan-e Amir Hamza." He received the prestigious Saraswati Samman in 1996 for his contribution to Urdu literature. "The Mirror of Beauty," originally published in Urdu to huge acclaim, is his first novel.