Literature | The Daily Star
  • Jibanananda Das: Poetics, Politics, Political Economy

    Jibanananda Das (1899-1954) is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets in the Bengali language. His poetry in particular has already made possible a staggering range of interpretive adventures and hermeneutic excavations, although he wrote 21 novels and 110 short stories that were discovered after his death.

  • Editor’s Note

    Jibanananda Das is probably one of the most read and yet the most neglected poets of Bengal. There is indeed a dearth of critical reading of his work, too.

  • To a Pained One

    Now late at night you have a bed

  • The Mona Lisa of Bengali Poetry

    The process of reading is consummated in rereading. It is sure to deepen and broaden our understanding of the work and its author, and quite possibly of ourselves as well.

  • Jibanananda and Barishal

    What is Barishal known by? One hundred years back, the unfailing answer was “rice and river.” Half a century ago, the answer might have been a political name- Sher-e-Bangla A. K. Fazlul Huq.

  • Is Writing a Gift?

    If it is, where is this gift coming from? God? Ahem! As off-putting as it might sound, biographies and autobiographies of writers reveal that most so-called gifted writers are scoundrels.

  • Things I Thought I Thought Tonight

    They have given me a grilled piece of chicken and a naan with the face of moon on a plate. The grilled chicken leg is brown with sides turned to dark coal. Grains of burnt spices glaze the piece.

  • A translation of Syed Manzoorul Islam’s short story, “Kathpoka”: Woodworms (Part II)

    “I’m doing what I feel like doing. What’s that to you?” Aslam retorted. He opened the door and said, “Like mother, like daughter. Get lost.”

  • A Requiem for Amazonia

    Amazon burns Each flame licks a life

  • Knocks

    Would a few doors remain closed?

  • Woodworms (Part 1)

    It’s been three nights that Aslam hasn’t been able to sleep. He has been trying so hard to fall asleep on the divan for three nights – the divan that he fancifully got carpentered and laid out in the study room of his gigantic apartment in Bashundhara, for the specific purpose of lying down to read and eventually doze off.

  • A Villager’s Guide to Feeding Foreigners

    If you’re a straightforward villager like me, you’ll be curious to entertain the foreigner. Before you do there are things to consider. Foreigners have foreign ways; allowances are required. Yet, despite the inherent challenge it’s good to feed one. Even foreigners need to eat.

  • Recitation: An Eminent Form of Art

    Getting up on the stage, standing before the microphone and harmonizing some words with melody don’t define recitation.

  • Samarkand: A Review

    “Look ‘round thee now on Samarcand, Is she not queen of earth? Her pride Above all cities? In her hand

  • For Life on Earth

    Like melting chocolate Earth melts into angel-smoothe

  • Longlist for the dsc Prize for South Asian Literature 2019

    The US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which is now in its ninth year, announced its keenly awaited longlist on September 25, 2019. The longlist of 15 novels, which represent the best in South Asian fiction writing, was unveiled by the chair of the jury panel Harish Trivedi at a special event at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi.

  • Searching for One’s Spirit Animal

    Many of us have often taken similar tests online. The native Americans believe that from birth to death, there is this animal that guides one through thick and thin. But seriously, do we ever really consider what animal guides us through our lifetime? Are we comfortable

  • Educating Lak-shmi, My Maid

    When I got married and came to live in my husband’s home in Salt Lake, I found a very efficient maid called Lakshmi already employed there. Unlike other helping hands she stayed for a long period of time in our house and would volunteer to do extra household chores

  • The Hridaya Sutra

    A Quest (You can) Take a break on the way to Kailash,

  • This Body of Mine

    This body of mine!

  • Silence

    The phone kept ringing and Rehana fished inside her bag and muttered angry words under her breath for not being able to locate it. Finally, she got hold of it. It was Sultana, her eldest sister.

  • Freedom

    On our way to Dhahran from Austin, we plan to stop at Pennsylvania, New York and London. I have never been to New York and it would be a shame to leave America without visiting the city. Nishat has been to New York on a previous occasion and this time he wants to spend time with Dipa, her childhood friend.

  • Climate and Fiction: Amitav Ghosh against Climate Change

    There exists a deeply fascinating relationship between crisis and literature – either crisis gives birth to great literature or great literature offers an astute and substantial representation of crisis.

  • In the Turmeric Fields: The World of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay

    Young Durga of Pother Panchali chanted the rhymes as she wandered amidst the wildernesses of Nischindipur. No, she did not make up the lyrics; they were taught to her by her elderly aunt Indir Thakrun. I myself was very young when I first came across the tale of

  • The Deer

    We lived in Pirojpur then. Barisal is the land of rivers and nullahs, and Pirojpur is no exception. Unless you have been to this Southern region of the country, you cannot claim to have really seen the country. We were not used to seeing such multitudes of rivers and

  • Not Aliens but Neighbours

    Pass Hollywood over. It’s not the aliens but our neighbours,

  • Nation, Identity and Alternative Bangla Cinema: Conversing with Tanvir Mokammel (Part II)

    SH: In 2011 you made a mega-documentary on 1971. What research on governmental policy documents went into the use of firearms by the Muktijoddhas as shown in your film, or as generally shown in films on the Liberation War?

  • Adieu, Perpetual Migrant!

    The virtuoso with the pen Rizia Rahman has ended her terrestrial sojourn on 16th August, just a few months shy of entering her octogenarian phase. A prolific writer treading most of the domains of creative writing, she has left an indelible personal mark on our literary landscape.

  • Abul Mansur Ahmed’s Ayna: A World of Satire in the Light of Art

    Ayna, a collection of seven short stories by Abul Mansur Ahmed was published in 1935. Written through the span of 1922- 1929, these pieces were published in Saugat edited by Muhammad Nasiruddin. The stories were satiric in structure, reflective in observation,


    Each writer born must have a muse, Or so I’m told, for if they do, And if they should, do they know how To let it in or haven’t found