Book Reviews | The Daily Star
  • Netflix’s ‘The White Tiger’: A Lukewarm Translation of Rage On-screen

    One can’t help but be excited about Netflix’s recent attempts at bringing to life and screen valuable works of South Asian fiction. Today’s focus, The White Tiger, which premiered on Netflix on January 21, 2021, was a debut novel by the Indian-Australian writer and journalist Aravind Adiga, who won critical acclaim and the Man Booker Prize in 2008 for his critique of class and caste boundaries in India.

  • A History of the Ulama in British India

    Over the past few years, and particularly after their recent tussle with the government over the statue of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Ulama’s involvement in politics has come back under scrutiny in Bangladesh.

  • JK Rowling’s Disappointing Cry for Relevance

    There are two kinds of children’s stories: those which you dust off as an adult and find yourself discovering new depths to upon revisiting, and those that you flick through and donate.

  • Testimony to the Cruel Birth of Bangladesh

    Half a century from where we began, throughout this 50th year of Bangladesh, Daily Star Books will revisit and analyse some of the books that played pivotal roles in documenting the Liberation War and the birth of this nation in 1971. The last issue of every month will feature an elaborate article on these books.

  • The Portrait of the Writer as a Critic

    The books which are closest to my heart and which evoke a certain sense of otherworldly glee are the ones that are themselves odes to literature, reading, and writing.

  • ‘A Gift for a Ghost’: Spain’s Great New Graphic Novel

    Borja González is a self-taught illustrator, and you both can and cannot tell while looking at his resplendent new work, A Gift for a Ghost (Abram ComicArts, 2020).

  • On Gender Mainstreaming and Governance in South Asia

    Despite much of the conversations and advances across countries since the Beijing Platform for Action (1995), gender mainstreaming still lacks a solid theoretical grounding, primarily because it grew outside academia as a movement under the ambit of feminism, and not as a part of social science.

  • Farida Hossain, Writing with Grace

    On October 9, 1965—a day before the World Children’s Day celebrations—the Engineering Institute of Dhaka rang with the melody of young voices, their footfalls and bright costumes. Children from across the two Pakistans had been invited to take part in a competition of musical performances.

  • Shashi Tharoor Looks Through A Glass Darkly, For Democracy

    This is a must-read book for anyone worried about the vulnerability of democracy in our time and the rise of authoritarian governments everywhere.

  • The Fall of A Great America

    In a near-perfect echo of today’s world, Nobel Prize-winning Elfriede Jelinek’s On the Royal Road: The Bergher King (Seagull Books, 2020) is stuffed breathless with metaphors, innuendoes, and anecdotes as it satirises US President Donald Trump.

  • Sweet, Sour, and Savoury: A Post-Partition Tale

    There are few pleasures in the life of a Bangali that come close to the sheer delight of basking in the rare but sweet Sun on a winter morning on the balcony, accompanied by the aroma of a cup of tea,

  • Tintin: A flawed hero that every kid needs to know

    Read our tribute to Tintin comics online, on The Daily Star website,

  • Whose Land Is It Anyway?

    Land—its ownership, its deep history, its uses and abuses—forms the subject of best-selling historian Simon Winchester’s new book,

  • 5 New Books to Look Out For in 2021

    Asha Ray is a coder who, upon reconnecting with a high school love interest, abandons her PhD program to write a new algorithm for an exclusive tech firm.

  • ‘Adhunik Mojar Mojar Bhoot’: Father-son conversations turn into a story book

    Four-year-old Sharanyo was bored from the lengthy lockdown during the pandemic. He could not go to school, parks, or shops and his day-to-day activities became mundane. He no longer enjoyed eating, showering, or going to bed at the right time. His father Shuvashish had to find found a solution. Having just returned to his son after a yearlong study leave in the UK, Shuvashish started creating stories to keep Sharanyo busy during dinner and bedtime. Soon, Sharanyo started chiming in, visualizing how the characters would look, how the stories would end.

  • The Metamorphosis of a Country

    The epigraph of The Old Drift (Hogarth Press, 2020), taken from Vigil’s The Aeneid, briefly narrates the story of a diverse civilisation thriving on the banks of Lethe, the river of forgetfulness that “somnolently” drifts past a “populous throng” of spirits.

  • Author Rabeya Khatun Passes Away at 86

    Prolific writer Rabeya Khatun, a recipient of the Bangla Academy Literary Award 1973, Ekushey Padak 1993, and the Independence Day Award 2017, passed away on January 3, 2021 after suffering from a long period of health complications.

  • “What I read in 2020”: Writers Select

    We asked some of the prominent writers and academics from Bangladesh about the books they most enjoyed in 2020. Some of them confessed that the year has been too difficult to find much time for reading.

  • Reading Re(ar)view: A Wrap on Reading Challenges and Recording Stats

    As the final pages of 2020 flick away, a lot of us find ourselves cracking open our diaries, or signing into our reading apps to log in the last few books of the year.

  • Daily Star Books’ Favourite Reads of 2020

    Out of all the books that I had to speed through for work this year, Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind was an exception.

  • The Politics of Losing Home

    In August 2017, the Myanmar military perpetrated a genocide on the Rohingyas, an ethnic group residing in Northern Rakhine. Large numbers of Rohingyas were killed,

  • Repulsive, But For A Reason

    The mind of ten-year-old Jas—the narrator of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s 2020 International Booker Prize-winning The Discomfort of Evening (Faber Books,

  • The Hypocrisy of Marriage in South Asia

    It is a truth universally acknowledged by her many fans that Jane Austen’s sharp wit, complex characters, subtle social reproach, and tantalising storytelling are almost unparalleled.

  • The Season of Comfy Reads

    Is it just us, or do the cold winds of December make you want to bring down your favourite childhood stories, classics hardcovers, and delicious thrillers from your shelves too?

  • DS Books publications on Bangladesh and its Liberation

    A collection of our freedom's history.

  • A History of the Destruction of Knowledge

    Humanity has always had an ambivalent relationship with knowledge. While the written word has changed from being recorded on papyrus to tablets, scrolls, ink-ridden bindings to printed books all the way to electronic screens,

  • Bangladesh at 49: A Portrait in Books

    It has been almost five decades since Bangladesh became independent. After all these years, it is only natural to ponder over our failures and achievements as a nation. Here are a few books that can help one reflect on the state of our nation today.

  • Tarashankar’s ‘1971’

    Tarashankar Bandopadhyay 1971 (Daily Star Books,2015) was initially supposed to be published as two separate novellas, Shutpar Tapashya and Ekti Kalo Meyer Kahini,

  • A Conference of World Leaders

    There are instances when fiction and history go in synchrony and historical accuracies demand an artistic touch. The play titled Shotoborshi Shonmilon (The Centennial Conference) written by Abdus Selim and Jayed Ul Ehsan, published by the Bangladesh Theatre Archives, could well be on that list.

  • All The President’s Stories

    A Promised Land (Crown Publishing, 2020), former US President Barack Obama’s long-heralded post-presidency memoir, is now here, and it arrives at a national moment when a pandemic is surging at steep, horrifying numbers in the US and when Donald Trump, the outgoing President, is loudly claiming he was cheated of victory by the Deep State and the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.