Literature | The Daily Star
  • Malta: Room to Roam (Part I)

    “Room to roam” remains my indelible imprint of this idyllic historical island. A less trodden route.

  • The Jungle’s Call

    I say “No” to the jungle’s call.

  • Letter Box

    When I came here, to our new abode, I was quite surprised to see the letter box outside our flat. “Who writes letter these days?” I was wondering. After the death of my mother, my father decided to shift to this new flat. He wanted me to overcome the grief caused by the death of my mother as soon as possible. He was terribly worried about my well-being.

  • Mirzaad

    My father was in the Pakistani army, so we moved frequently, every few years. Soon after I finished Grade 10 in 1966, we made a big move: from Chittagong to Rawalpindi.

  • In Memoriam

    A part of my life over.

  • Legacy

    With a familiar hunger

  • Two Poems

    Where Hopes Don’t Die

  • Looking Back on Kazi Nazrul Islam’s Bisher Banshi

    John Milton’s Areopagitica (1644) is a fine specimen of the prose polemic defending the freedom of expression and opposing the governmental licensing of publications and procedures of censorship.

  • A Heart of Snow

    The wind sighs as if upset; the snow’s anxiety is audible, A capricious sky causes a few docile stars to descend, Horse-driven sledges home amidst the din of strewn snow— Portrait of a deserted highway at the edge of a horizon!

  • Lines Exchanged in Silence

    “In Your Eyes I See Endangered Me”—Rabindranath Tagore

  • In Between the Lamps

    The pale yellow moon shone through the leafless winter trees. Their silhouettes were the only beauty in the dark between the lights of town. I hunted the imagined monsters that live in the dark. I was out in the fields where no one should walk alone.

  • SMI—a Tribute!

    To think of Syed Manzoorul Islam—Manzoor bhai to me (but let me call him SMI in the rest of this piece!) —is to think of someone always in motion, whether in the everyday world we inhabit, or the life of the mind that he lives so intensely.

  • The Pivotal Pariah

    Poet-professor-translator Kaiser Haq is the most thorough man I have ever come across. Taking things with a grain of salt is not his style. His casual, albeit western, demeanor, may suggest otherwise and even hide the seriousness of purpose with which he approaches life as well as his creative works.

  • Some Issues in Medieval Bangla Literature: Baru Chandidas and Vidyapati

    It is undoubtedly a challenging task to characterize the world of medieval Bangla literature, given its rich diversity and staggering magnitude.

  • Dorothy Wordsworth: The Muse of the Lyrical Ballads

    It might seem strange to many that the muse of the revolutionary work Lyrical Ballads is no other than Dorothy Wordsworth, the younger sister of William Wordsworth.

  • U & I

    Shamsad Mortuza is Professor of English, University of Dhaka. Currently on leave, he is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of ULAB.

  • The Legend Rock

    An Independent Scholar, Dilshad Rahat Ara was educated in Architecture at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and at the University of Melbourne.

  • On Writer’s Block

    Fairly recently, I was working with two of my colleagues here in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to propose a panel for a conference in North America.

  • The Word

    I like the idea of that lurking uncertainty in the background. It is the anticipation of what is to come feels exciting. And now here I am facing that uncertainty.

  • When Death Died

    A black serene path leading to a universe set at the end of a never-ending horizon. Paces and paces of thousand footsteps sounding like the ticking of a wall clock in the middle of the night. Tik…tik...tik…tik…tik…tik

  • Different Worlds

    The cloud saw the girl sitting in her balcony and reading. Peace and harmony -- thought the cloud and smiled.

  • A Poetry Evening at Oxford

    Among the contemporary poetic voices, the name of Ilya Kaminsky shines bright. An American-Ukranian poet, Kaminsky has already earned name and critical acclaim, publishing two collections of poetry, which have received rave reviews in front-ranking literary journals and newspapers. His latest collection is Deaf Republic (2019), whereas the first collection is titled Dancing in Odessa (2004).

  • On a Street of Dhaka

    In a tattered sari, she stands

  • The Patriot

    Macaws swooped around the jaguar as it climbed the tree, trying to sniff the sloth lazily perched on a branch almost falling in its sleep. The air was filled with the critters of long tailed monkeys jumping in the vast canopy of trees while the croak of frogs could be heard clearly, amidst the river rushing below.

  • Click Clock Click Clock

    The Gulmohar tree was tall and wide glowing with blossoms and green leaves. It gave a shelter as good as a home for some. The old woman sat under the tree from morning till evening with a bundle of clothes and beddings she needed. She slept under the tree using the bundles as her pillow. People and passers by would leave some food and fruit for her.


    Amitabha Bagchi’s brilliant novel Half the Night Is Gone has won the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019.

  • “Women’s Voices, Joined Together from East to West in Literature”

    Each year from November 25 to December 10, women around the world unite and raise their voice in support of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign against gender-based violence.

  • A Story of Him and Her

    He knew everything

  • A Pair of Red Shoes

    The bus was scheduled to depart at 2 pm. It was already ten past two! Everywhere there is a competition of breaking schedule.

  • Speak with Ceaseless Spark; Speak to Leave an Indelible Mark

    “Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent,” said Dionysius of Halicarnassus. While realizing the essence of this sagacious saying, we can readily conclude that good English speaker is rarer than hens’ teeth in these regions of the world where there is an outlandish, preternatural and almost spurious cultural supposition that having a kingly command of the English language is rather an odious pageantry of colonial aggrandizement.