Anisul Hoque is a journalist, poet, popular litterateur and columnist. His books have won him numerous awards, including the prestigious Bangla Academy Award. Haque's novel “Maa” was critically acclaimed at home and abroad. Like every year, several books by the noted author have been published at this year's Ekushey Book Fair. The Daily Star recently interviewed the wordsmith.
What's your view of this year's book fair?
Anisul: I am very optimistic about the fair like everybody else. Last February, there was a very low turnout as the youth was excited about Gonojagoron Mancha, and the political unrest did not help the cause. As the political situation seems under control now, more readers are likely to throng the fair.
What are the new books readers are getting from you this fair?
Anisul: Prothoma, Somoy and Ghankosh have published my books “Amaro Ekta Prem Kahani Achey”, “Selai” and “Bhalobasha Ebong Bacho” respectively. Although “Bhalobasha Ebong Bacho” is quite a slim book, it is my favourite. The story centres on the life of a virgin mother. Two other books are collection of my columns while some are for children.
You have also written poetry, but there has been no book so far. Why? Anisul: It gives me great pleasure to know that my poetry has a readership (smiles). So far, I've written poems on my Facebook wall. In all likelihood, I will publish a book of my poems next year.
What are your suggestions to rev up the book fair?
Anisul: Such a fair in any developed country would be held in a dust-free environment. It would have gotten tougher to organise the book fair at Bangla Academy next year, as more buildings will spring up, reducing the space for the fair. So, Suhrawardy Udyan is the perfect location for the fair. Ideally, the book stalls should be shifted there without felling the trees.
What's your take on such book fairs at divisional or district levels?
Anisul: Apart from Humayun Ahmed and Muhammad Zafar Iqbal's books, not many others reach most districts. I think book fairs should be held in every district, and a fund should be raised to organise this.
How would you evaluate your achievements as a writer?
Anisul: In one word, the love of the people. I think Allah has been very kind to me. While I am not a cricketer, rock star, actor or a familiar face on TV screen, the love of the people both at home and overseas is a great achievement for me.
What is it about your vocation that you enjoy the most?
Anisul: People love writers and poets. I am very grateful to my readers for the high esteem in which they hold me.