• Can evolutionary psychology explain the human condition?

    Evolutionary psychology (EP) is not an actual science. A scientific endeavour should invariably include scopes for experimentation that should lead to the nullification, or consolidation, of the hypotheses formulated on the general premises put forth by that branch of science. The be-all and end-all of EP, however, is the pursuit of the optimisation of reproductive fitness of the human individual. In broad strokes, a male human is genetically predisposed to mate with as many female partners as possible due to his seemingly endless reservoir of seeds, while the female human seeks to solely colonise the genetic and financial resources of a superior man because her eggs are in short supply. The tug-of-war that ensues from these two differing reproductive ideals purportedly has the capacity to explain much of what goes on around us. As convenient as it may seem, there is a rather inconvenient rub: you can explain anything and everything by resorting to this line of thought.

  • Are e-books the answer to Bangladesh’s climate change crisis?

    On a mid-monsoon morning, with the drizzling sound of rain drops gently touching the earth and the fresh smell of soil, one would like to curl up with a seeping hot cup of cha in one hand and a book in the other. That is how many book lovers would love to spend their ideal holidays. However, it is high time that we think about the ethical and environmental implications of the ways in which we read and reflect on sustainable alternatives. In this age of a growing climate crisis, and Bangladesh being one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change given its geographical location, it is high time that readers think about a more sustainable alternative: e-books.

  • Of books and nostalgia

    There is something very interesting about how certain smells take you back in time, very much like a time machine would, if it ever existed.

  • Tahmima Anam to discuss ‘The Startup Wife’ at virtual Hay Festival today

    Five years since the release of The Bones of Grace (Daily Star Books, 2016), the Bengal Trilogy author Tahmima Anam has just published her fourth novel, The Startup Wife (Canongate, 2021), this week. Anam will be in conversation with journalist Georgina Godwin at today’s Hay Festival session at 3 PM GMT (9 PM Bangladesh time). The event is virtual and free to register.

  • The terror of living and loving

    An 81-year-old woman is strolling about in her farm, reeling from nostalgia, dead leaves crunching under her feet. She is planting newly bloomed flowers in an empty pig pen.

  • Today we are 1

    It was during the peak of the coronavirus crisis, amidst the punishing heat of June, that we geared up to launch Daily Star Books on this very day in 2020.

  • How bookstagram is keeping humanity alive

    Since I am a bookstagram novice, mostly watching, listening, and rarely creating content of my own, I feel a kind of motivation from this community to speak my mind about issues that have always been close to my heart.

  • Declan Walsh's 'The Nine Lives of Pakistan': A journalist explains the country that banished him

    In the middle of an Islamabad night, just before the Pakistan election of 2013, the Irish journalist Declan Walsh was visited by “angels”.

  • On the second batch of casting decisions for Netflix and Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman’ adaptation

    The two batches of casting announcements for Netflix’s The Sandman have given fans of the iconic comic book series—after several years of “development hell” and pessimism—reasons finally for optimism. Now to be realised as a television series after decades of ill-starred cinematic attempts, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (DC Comics) can finally begin its ascent into our side of reality.

  • Bangla Academy in mourning after losing three gems

    Amidst the looming threat of the COVID-19, Bangladesh has lost some of its greatest minds in the past year. Among them were three individuals who were in active roles at the Bangla Academy, an organisation that, since its inception on the tailwind of the 1952 Language Movement, has been upholding the national identity and intellectual development of Bangalis.

  • Grow Your Reader to host ‘Book Garage’ donation event until June 15

    Grow Your Reader, an organisation founded recently on the directive of “ensuring quality education” for underprivileged children, has launched Book Garage, which opened its doors on the first of June. The initiative is founded on a simple ethos—leave your old books behind, so those that don’t have the means can pick up and discover a new book for free.

  • 'Murder at the Mushaira': A poet, a murder mystery, and a vivid portrait of 1857 India

    In 1857, a wave of uprisings sparked through India in a bid to overthrow the British rulers. The Sepoy Mutiny was the first time Indian soldiers rose against the British East India Company in the face of corruption and unjust social reforms—including ruthless land taxes that unfairly penalised the working class.

  • A journey with 50 Bangla films

    Three years ago, I remember watching Noor Imran Mithu’s film Komola Rocket (2018) at Bashundhara City with two of my friends. I miss those days when going to a theatre was a normal occasion.

  • ‘Who They Was’: A powerful voice from the rough streets of London

    Gabriel Krauze is not your average Booker-longlisted author. He rocks streetwear, Air Maxes, gangster chains, and most importantly a big grin that unveils his signature “iced grillz”—a statement of one’s journey on the streets.

  • Red terror or revolutionary war?

    Lal Shontrash: Siraj Sikder O Sarbahara Rajneeti (Baatighar, 2021) is about the birth, growth, and withering away of a revolutionary organisation about which most Bangladeshis have heard and very many are curious.

  • Kelly Link’s ‘The Summer People’ and an escape from writer’s block

    On the tail end of “The Lottery” in the summer of 1948, Shirley Jackson finished writing in one morning’s worth of work her underappreciated short story, “The Summer People”.

  • Fatherhood, loss, and healing in Colum McCann’s ‘Apeirogon’

    On September 4, 1997, Smadar Elhanan was killed while shopping with friends when Palestinian suicide bombers detonated themselves in downtown Jerusalem.

  • Life and literature in footnotes

    “Kichudin jabot Dhakay cholchhe prochur gorom, abar eki shathe shaolar gondho chorano brishti hochhe.” The incessant heat and rainfall, the month of May, the lull of Eid holidays and the call of books, films, and music are just some of the elements that make Apurba Jahangir’s Footnotes (Subarna, 2021) a fitting read for this time of the year.

  • Project Shohay: Book auction to support sex workers

    Project Shohay, a fundraising campaign jointly organised by Litmosphere and the youth-led sexual awareness organisation Bodol, launched on Tuesday, May 18, with the aim of creating employment opportunities for women in “floating” sex work.

  • ‘Ja Ichcha Tai’: New activity book seeks to ignite creativity in adults

    In a break from activity books for children containing games, images, and writing instructions, Shuvashish Roy, a postgraduate of creativity, innovation, and business strategy from the University of Exeter, has written the first-ever creative journal in the Bangla language, Ja Ichcha Tai (Protik Prokashana Sangstha, 2021), which promises its fair share of fun-loving and creative exercises for adults.

  • Comic book free-for-all: First issues to get you hooked on a feeling

    Here are 7 single issues that can serve as gateways into the superhero worlds.

  • Ramadan reading: Authors who write about Muslim lives

    Away from the festivities and communal interactions that make Ramadan special, this year, books seem like a fitting avenue through which we can explore the lives of Muslims across the world. From biographies to novels, for children and for adults, these authors have penned stories that are both wholesome and enlightening.

  • An anarchist retelling of Tintin

    The globetrotting hero-reporter, he of the blonde quiff and the plus four trousers, had many an adventure throughout a 46-year-long run under

  • At Night All Blood is Black: All that war leaves behind

    At Night All Blood Is Black (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020; transl. Anna Moschovakis), shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize, is a

  • UPL’s open-for-all book review contest

    On the occasion of World Book Day 2021, The University Press Limited (UPL) have initiated a literary criticism competition to be held from April 23 to May 31, the first part of which is set to conclude at 12 PM on May 7. The competition will be conducted virtually through Facebook, with every participant receiving an additional 5 percent discount on top of the ongoing discount on any order placed through the UPL page on the social media website. In addition, five contestants will be awarded UPL coupons at the end of the competition.

  • Creating an appetite for Bangladeshi fiction

    A good story is hard to find. Niaz Zaman, the editor of The Demoness: The Best Bangladeshi Short Stories, 1971-2021 (Aleph Book Company, 2021), has found 27 “best” short stories to create an appetite for Bangladeshi fiction.

  • Mentorship opportunity for South Asian writers from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan

    A new British Council-funded project, Write Beyond Borders, is set to kickstart its inaugural episode from May-October 2021. The program is designed for “emerging writers” of South Asian background, who can be based anywhere in the UK, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The deadline for application, which should include a covering letter and a writing sample of no more than 2,000 words, is April 30, 2021.

  • Five new books I enjoyed reading this month

    During the recent weeks of lockdown, these five books—ranging from historical fiction to memoirs to fantasy to romance—allowed me to disappear into stories, to live many lives, and they reminded me how vast the world was and will soon again be.

  • A hope grows in “Borderland”

    I discovered Olga Tokarczuk in 2018 after having lapped up the contents of Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017), a novel, written in fragments, that invites obsessive reading, winning Tokarczuk and her brilliant translator Jennifer Croft no less than the Man Booker International prize that same year.

  • The writers of ‘Golden: Bangladesh at 50’ tell their tales

    In Golden: Bangladesh at 50 (University Press Ltd, 2021) edited by Shazia Omar, 23 of Bangladesh’s eminent writers and poets—including Kaiser Haq, Arif Anwar, Shabnam Nadiya, Farah Ghuznavi, and others—find home for their varied expressions of Bangladeshi life, culture, history, love, hate, as well as the lulls that defined our quarantined existence this past year.

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