Urdu Book Genres

Assalam Alaikum, my fellow bookworms! Today, let’s dive into the captivating world of Urdu book genres and explore a unique classification that’s been gaining traction – the division between female-centric and male-centric popular fiction.

Urdu literature is a treasure trove of diverse genres, each offering a distinct flavor to satiate our literary cravings. From heartwarming poetry to gripping novels, there’s something for every palate. Books have many genres, but I have been reading only two genres because the Urdu magazines that are published are distinguished by the genre of stories that are included, and thereby the audience that it targets. But what’s intriguing is the emerging trend of categorizing Urdu fiction based on its target audience – particularly, female-centric and male-centric narratives.

Wait, I am not gender biased. Let me define what I mean by those two terms.

Female-Centric Fiction

Let’s start with the tales that are crafted with a special focus on the female reader. These stories delve into the intricacies of relationships, emotions, and the challenges faced by women. The heroines are relatable, strong, and often navigate societal norms in pursuit of their dreams. This genre beautifully captures the essence of womanhood, touching upon topics like love, family, career, and self-discovery. From heartrending family sagas to modern romance, female-centric fiction resonates with readers seeking stories that mirror their own journeys.

Generally, these types of stories have female audience. It covers social, romantic, domestic aspects of life. It may have elements like comedy, drama, tragedy, and like. The story line revolves mostly around relationships. It will talk a lot about looks, and clothes, and food.

Some magazines in this category are Aanchal, Shuaa, Khwateen, and similar magazines in Pakistan and Pakeeza Aanchal in India. Nemrah Ahmed, Umair Ahmad, Riffat Siraj, Farhat Ishtiyaq are some of the well-established names in this genre.

Male-Centric Fiction

On the other side of the spectrum, we have narratives that primarily target the male readership. These stories often explore themes of heroism, adventure, and the complexities of the world. Male-centric fiction is known for its action-packed plots, intriguing mysteries, and exploration of historical and political landscapes. From spy thrillers to tales of bravery, this genre captures the imagination of readers who crave excitement, challenges, and a taste of the unknown.

Generally, these types of stories have male audience.It covers suspense, thriller, action, crime, investigations, court etc.It may have elements like comedy, drama, tragedy, and like.The story line revolves mostly around crime and fight against it.It will talk about Guns, and knives, and murderer, and like.

  • Some magazines in this category are Suspence Digest, Jasoosi Duniya in Pakistan and Huma in India.


Ibn-e-safi is my favourite. Mohiuddin Nawab, Hussam Butt are some other notable names that you must read.

Please note that the stress here is “generally”. It is not rule. There are some writers who write for both magazines and are equally popular in both female and male readers. I am sure, there are many readers, like me, who read both genres with equal interest.

Blurred Boundaries

While the distinction between female-centric and male-centric fiction is becoming more apparent, it’s important to note that these categories don’t exist in isolation. Many authors are breaking the mold, creating stories that appeal to a broader audience, transcending traditional gender lines. Characters are evolving, with depth and complexity that mirror real-life individuals.


Embracing Diversity

Ultimately, Urdu literature is a testament to the human experience, regardless of gender. Whether you’re drawn to emotional journeys or heart-pounding adventures, there’s a book waiting for you. So, the next time you’re browsing through the stacks at your favorite bookstore, consider exploring both sides of the literary coin. You might just discover a whole new world of storytelling.

Urdu literature, with its myriad genres, reflects the richness of our culture and society. Whether we gravitate towards female-centric or male-centric fiction, let’s celebrate the diversity of narratives that shape our understanding of the world around us. Happy reading, my friends!

Until next time, keep those pages turning and your imagination soaring.

Shabana Mukhtar

Images courtesy https://www.aiourdubooks.net and https://rspk.paksociety.com

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