Poet Farida Majid no more
Bangladeshi poet and academic Farida Majid passed away at a private hospital in Dhaka on the morning of Tuesday, September 28.
Sanjeeb Purohit told The Daily Star that she had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was receiving treatment. She was hospitalised last week, and breathed her last at 5:30 am yesterday while undergoing treatment.
Farida Majid was born on July 27, 1942 in Kolkata, daughter to poet Golam Mostofa's eldest daughter, Jochna. It was under the guidance of her grandfather that Farida developed as a poet.
Author and editor-translator, respectively, of books including Gaanda Phul er Proyan O Jara Beche Thakbe and Take Me Home, Rickshaw: Poems by Contemporary Poets of Bangladesh (Salamander, 1974), Farida attended Eden Girls' Government College in Bangladesh and studied English literature at New York University.
She had been living abroad for a long time, first settling in London after Bangladesh's liberation, and later in the United States. During this time, she translated and edited the works of some of Bangladesh's great poets and writers and served as Managing Editor of the London-based literary imprint, Salamander, from 1974 to 1980. Her work brought her in close acquaintance with artist Francis Bacon, philosopher Jacques Derrida, poet Allen Ginsberg, and even The Rolling Stones, among notable others.
Between 1984 and 1989, Farida Majid taught Bangla language and literature at Columbia University in New York. From 1991 to 2005, she taught literature, writing, and cultural studies at City University of New York, before returning to Bangladesh in 2006.
Social media has seen an outpouring of condolences from her friends and colleagues over the past two days.
"She was way ahead of her time, she was a deep interpreter of Holy Quran, in Arabic and Bangla", poet and artist Ronnie Ahmmed shared on Facebook. "She was a brilliant mind in [the] history of literature in Bangladesh, a great poet, writer [and] an endless vassal of wisdom and knowledge".
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