Book Reviews | The Daily Star
  • Crimes that history cannot absolve

    Korean literature has been enjoying a literary renaissance for quite some time through translation, from the likes of Hang Kang’s beguiling yet gruesome novel, The Vegetarian (2007) to Yeonmi Park’s heart wrenching memoir, In Order to Live (2015).

  • New publication on UK Bengali settlement out on Kindle

    Migration of Bengalis from South Asia to the outside world started with taking up jobs as lascars (sailors) in the British East India Company's ships which carried precious goods from the Indian subcontinent, such as spice, tea and cotton. In addition, from the second half of the nineteenth century, Bengali educated and wealthy gentlemen began travelling to England mainly to pursue higher education.

  • Humanity, freedom, and magic realism in the face of authoritarian powers

    On April 1, 1979, after years of tensions between Western and Islamic values, Iran became an Islamic Republic. Theocracy triumphed monarchy and a massive crackdown on “un-Islamic” ways of life swept across the country, suffocating intellectual, cultural, personal, and physical freedom under the weight of a stringent regime.

  • Are we reading ‘A Seaman’s Wife’ the right way?

    Something that has always fascinated me about Bangladeshi literature is it’s attachment to and exploration of space—be it in prose, poetry, or music, almost all Bangladeshi and even Bengali literary work engages with how we are impacted by land, home, country, season, and other natures of charged atmosphere.

  • SHUTTER STORIES: Books to read on World Photography Day

    Ironically a book without images or photographs, On Photography collects American philosopher, filmmaker and activist Susan Sontag’s essays on the history of photography, its inherent voyeurism, and how it affects the way we perceive and experience the modern world through an often capitalist lens.

  • A Burning: Good Books Are Hard to Read

    Good books – even as they are arresting – are often hard to read. This is not because they are difficult in themselves so much because oftheir content.

  • Has young adult fantasy become rote as a genre?

    Everyone had them on their bookshelves. Everyone read them and fawned over them. Online stores were getting creative with the contents of these young-adult fantasy books, coming up with themed candles, beautifully designed bookmarks, and exclusive sticker packs. It was almost as though the genre had developed a cult following of its own.

  • To stitch a tapestry of trauma

    A good book stays with a reader long after they’ve read the last word and placed it back on the shelf. It leaves an impression on the mind, whether because the action was exhilarating, the characters raw and real, or because reading it felt like coming back to a home you never knew you had.

  • The fires of Partition in East Bengal

    Three years before Maloy Krishna Dhar’s death, his memoir, Train to India: Memories of Another Bengal (Penguin India, 2009), came out. Born in a sleepy village of Kamalpur in the Bhairab-Mymensingh region next to Meghna and Brahmaputra, Dhar had an illustrious career as a teacher, journalist, intelligence officer, and writer.

  • The road not taken, in books

    One day many years ago, discovering my cousin’s tattered copy of a Give Yourself Goosebumps book completely changed my ideas about what books could be.