Daily Star Books recently organised an event aimed to increase the engagement between young authors and readers before the Ekushey Book Fair, 2020. Held at The Daily Star’s library, the interactive session brought forth an open and critical discussion between renowned young writers and passionate readers. Moderated by Emran Mahfuz, co-ordinator of Daily Star Books, the event was inaugurated by Sarah Anjum Bari, the In-charge of the publishing imprint, with a welcome speech. In an attempt to extend institutional support to authors, the event brought together five young writers – Sadat Hossain, Asif Mehedi, Jannatun Nayeem Prity, Abdullah Al Imran, and Pias Majid.
“Bringing out our inner imagination and creativity using a perfect bunch of words is what makes us authors” shared Sadat Hossain, who was honoured with Humayun Ahmed Sahitya Puroshkar 2019, recently. He enraptured the audience with his childhood tales of wit, and discussed the role of his mother in making him the person he is today. This year, five of his books would be available at Kolkata’s International Book Fair. He would also release Mornottum at this year’s Ekushey book fair. When asked about how he deals with criticism, he said, “As a writer, I am obliged listen to all criticism, but whether I implement them in my writing is a part of my creative agency.”
Asif Mehedi has authored over 25 books on a wide array of topics, including information technology and science fiction. He discussed the role books play in the personality development of an individual. “In order to develop our nation, we must nurture a generation equipped with scientific knowledge. Books are the optimal medium to extend this to the masses,” he said, mentioning that he sees his books as “infotainment” – a blend of knowledge and entertainment. This year, he will be publishing four books for children.
In this year’s book fair, Jannatun Nayeem Prity’s Tala Bhangar Pala, a collection of twelve stories on global politics and social issues including rape, will be published. The writer is celebrated for her outspoken nature regarding current global issues, and our liberation war. “Even if you say that I am apolitical, that in itself is a political statement. No one is outside of politics.”
Abdullah Al Imran, through his writing, focuses on folk culture and is vocal about issues such as the rights of Jute labourers. He is hopeful about his upcoming novel, Chandralekha.
Pias Majid believes in writing books that are relevant to writers’ personal lives. His poems depicting human emotions and life dynamics are widely appreciated by readers. His poetry books Boshonto, Kokiler Kortobbo, Golaper Nohobot, Dupurer Moto Deergho Kobita and Dhormoshagor Shohor will be released this year.
Conversations highlighting the importance of books, effect of criticism on authors and challenges in the journey of publishing a book, witnessed the active participation of the audience. The event ended with a question-answer session, where readers got the opportunity to interact with their favourite authors, as well as special appearances from Sadya Afreen Mallick, Chief of Culture Initiatives, The Daily Star and Elita Karim, Editor, Arts & Entertainment and Star Youth, The Daily Star.
Lekhok Pathok Mukhomukhi was a unique session, appreciated by the writers and audience present at the venue. As per the organisers, more such initiatives will be introduced by the platform to bridge the gap between readers and writers in the coming months. Daily Star Books will also be launching 5 new books at this year’s Ekushey Book Fair.