BOOK REVIEW: POETRY / A deep dive into a poet’s mind

He had lost touch almost completely with his craft, so much so that he wondered if he even had it in him. But even so, for the sake of writing, he wrote. When the pandemic hit, Helal batted off the dust of his desk and sat down to write. Sitting from a foreign land, the ink flowed again.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / In the aftermath of the Palestinian catastrophe—'Minor Detail' by Adania Shibli (trans. Elisabeth Jaquette)

This book is an essential read to understand the extent of the erasure of Palestinian history after the Nakba and life under tyranny in its cities.

South Asia Speaks creative writing mentorship open for applications

The free, year-long fellowship for creative writers from South Asia, is accepting applications until September 30, 2022. 

Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 open for submissions

Free to enter and open to any citizen, aged 18 and over, of a Commonwealth country, the prize accepts short story entries written in English and translated to English, as well as stories written in Bangla, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil and Turkish languages. 

‘I enjoy being alone’: Helal Hafiz

Helal Hafiz has been suffering from glaucoma for a long time, alongside complications with his kidney, diabetes and nerve complications.

FROM PAGES TO PIXELS / ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’—One series to fail them all?

What point is Lord of the Rings making in 2022? That people are racist and wage wars? The original trilogy, from two decades ago, was making that same point.

FROM PAGES TO PIXELS / Why ‘Hawa’ reminded me of Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’

The song “Shada Shada Kala Kala” seems almost like a visual rendition of “the merry minstrelsy” that breaks out in front of the bride as red as a rose.

REVIEW: SHORT STORY OF THE MONTH / No country for honest men in Shahidul Zahir’s “Woodcutter and Crows”

Zahir uses crows as a symbol of magic realism, as found in local folklore, where animals serve as omens of luck both good and bad. The crows seem to bring bad luck to the couple, and wherever they go, the birds follow.

The dangerous game of Marlon James—Can genre fiction be great literature?

James seems to be saying to the establishment, to the same generous folks who once gave him the Booker and propelled him to the stratosphere: Go ahead and say this is not literature, I dare you. 

Rage is not singular for immigrants in Sabaa Tahir's novel

“What’s the word for when someone drinks so much, they are ruining your best friend’s life? Or the word for a man so vengeful about his own past that he wants to destroy your future? What’s the word for a woman who was sick for months, but refused to go to the doctor until it was too late?"

Two upcoming Pinocchio films—why does he still resonate?

Zemeckis' version will likely be a comforting trip into nostalgia and sentiment, an ode to the power of the human heart to do the right thing despite life's many temptations. At the same time, del Toro's will be a dark fairytale with troubling implications, examining how we puppets can learn to think for ourselves.

What impact did the Partition have on Dhaka's book trade?

The impact of the 1947 Partition was felt in every aspect of Dhaka's printing and publishing business, and the book trade in the new provincial capital took a momentous turn. How did it impact the booksellers, printers, and the material being published? 

Ottessa Moshfegh’s ‘Lapvona’: A fairy tale for realists

Lapvona has paupers becoming princes, severe environmental disruptions adding to the owe of the common folk, and the old lady acting as a witch and healer, who serves in the role of a fairy godmother, albeit with a modern touch.

Fahmida Azim “enjoys drawing real people living extraordinary lives”

The comics portray the experiences of the Uyghur community under the anti-Muslim police state imposed in China. The story includes testimonies given to the United Nations Human Rights Council and condensed by Anthony Del Col and art direction by Josh Adams.

How Partition impacted the Dhaka book trade

With the expansion of the publishing business, bookshops also sprang up in various parts of Old Dhaka, particularly in Chawkbazar, Islampur, Mughaltuli and Patuatuli. It is estimated that the number of bookshops in Dhaka till 1900 were no less than 40. 

Syed Waliullah: husband, artist, thinker, writer

The book includes excerpts from Syed Waliullah's diary, snapshots of his editorial for Contemporary magazine, handwritten edits on his pieces for Shaogat magazine, and a comprehensive bibliography of the author's work and achievements.

2023 International Booker Prize judges announced

Chairing next year’s judges’ panel will be Leïla Slimani, the French Moroccan novelist known for books like Lullaby (2016) and Adèle (2019).

Mashiul Alam joins prestigious Iowa International Writing Program

Journalist and author Mashiul Alam has been selected as a resident of the 2022 Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), among the world’s most prestigious creative writing residencies.