On March 16, 2021, renowned writer Jharna Rahman was awarded the Ananya Shahittya Puroshkar 1427 for her remarkable contribution to the field of Bangla literature. The award ceremony was held at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium in the Bangladesh National Museum, attended by chief guest Syed Manzoorul Islam and special guest writer-director Faridur Rahman. The ceremony was chaired by Tasmima Hossain, editor of Anannya and Daily Ittefaq.
The programme began with a poetry recital by Laila Afroz and a documentary screening on the work of Jharna Rahman directed by Tapash Kumar Datta.
The literary award, part of the 'Anannya Top Ten Awards', was introduced in 1993 by Anannya Magazine and has recognised trailblazing women throughout the years ever since.
Born in 1959, Jharna Rahman has been defining Bangla literature since the 1980s with her short stories, novels, travelogues, essays, non-fiction, and children's books. So far, she has close to 60 books to her credit. Some of her notable novels and short story collections include Ognita, Shorbotorbari, Perek, Chondrodohon, and Adritar Potaka, among others.
Speaking to Daily Star Books, she said, "I am extremely happy receiving the prize. A literary award always encourages the writer. It is after all an acknowledgement of their work. I am extremely grateful to the Anannya family".
Jharna Rahman has released three books published at the Boi Mela this year—short story collection, Jolpori Onuher Nouka (Kotha Prokash), a novel Juddhodiner Nil Khata (Jhumjhumi Prokashon), and poetry collection Chora Pore Tuktak, also out from the same publication.
"Currently, I am working on a nonfiction book about the local languages of Bikrompur. It's about how the area's traditional languages have suffered almost to the point of extinction due to the spell of globalisation", she said.
Asked about advice for aspiring writers, Rahman said she is very interested in and hopeful about the new writers cropping up in the country, especially the youth. "In this age of countless distractions, I hope the young generation will dive into the literary world and pave a decent literary future for Bangladesh. I don't have any advice for writers because I think advice doesn't work that effectively for writers. But I believe looking into things deeply and in a macro narrative –beyond one's own circle—will certainly help," she said.