Literature | The Daily Star
  • Did we need two Booker Prize winners?

    After six months of reading 151 books longlisted into 11, narrowed down further to six, the Booker Prize judges on October 14 announced this year’s winner—the “best novel” produced in English in the UK and Ireland (regardless of the author’s nationality) over the past one year.

  • Cinematic in scope, characters pulse with life: Dust Under Her Feet

    Bangladeshi writing in English has seen an encouraging surge over the last couple of years. In the arena of South Asian literature,

  • More than a glimpse into a culture

    Celestial Bodies is the kind of novel you hesitate to call “historical”. It’s entirely too personal. Recalling the time of his father’s death,

  • On loving childhood reads as an adult

    I have been recovering from a very long and arduous block in my reading life, a block that could not be broken by the fattest or

  • Why Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch is a movie in prose

    The Goldfinch—the written version, Donna Tartt’s third literary triumph—opens upon a Christmas day in a hotel in Amsterdam. The “I” that speaks offers a brief recap of his murky dreams and departure from New York; what but he really (quickly) wants to get to is setting up the scene for us.

  • What do you read on the road?

    My copy of Zadie Smith’s Autograph Man is special for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s the only one of my favourite author’s books that I haven’t read in its entirety.

  • Stranger to Myself

    MD Sharif Uddin's memoir Stranger to Myself: Diary of a Bangladeshi in Singapore was awarded best non-fiction at the Singapore Book Awards in 2018.

  • Ekushey Boi Mela - In conversation with 4 young authors

    Star Weekend speaks to four young writers about launching their books at this year's Ekushey Boi Mela, about what influences their work, and their thoughts on the state of the literary scene in Bangladesh. A consensus emerged on the inspiration they receive from their childhood and the world around them and on the need for better editing, book marketing, and royalty payments in the industry.

  • Page to Screen

    Literary adaptations on-screen struck big in 2018 with Crazy Rich Asians (book by Kevin Kwan), Mowgli (adapted from The Jungle Book and the nth adaptation so far), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and A Wrinkle in Time.

  • From The Daily Star Bookshelf

    As 2018 wraps up, we decided to talk to some of our colleagues about the books that have accompanied them this past year. We started out trying to find recommendations hot off the press; but found out that it's been a year for older titles.


    “I was in Class 6 when my parents got divorced. I took it normally, because it was something I had wanted from when I was much younger.

  • Who Made Frankenstein's Monster? Spoiler Alert: It's You

    “I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? Tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me? I will revenge my injuries; if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.”

  • A novel crisscrossing cultures and time

    The Storm is a tale of multiple compelling characters from around the world but all tied back to a crucial time and place in South Asia—a storm based on the real 1970 Bhola cyclone.

  • The short story

    Short stories are in. Or is the short story dead? Is it seeing a resurgence? The genre seems to be in need of constant justification despite established and novice writers alike constantly churning out short stories.

  • Women writing the war

    My introduction to war lore was an intimate one, removed from any political agenda—they were stories of fear, simplicity, and sheer resilience in the face of ultimate crisis.

  • VS Naipaul - Snippets of his writing career

    VS Naipaul, the Nobel and Booker winning writer of A House for Mr Biswas (listed frequently as one of the 100 greatest English-language novels of the 20th century) and A Bend in the River, died on August 11 at the age of 85. He had visited Dhaka in 2016 as a guest of honour at Dhaka Lit Fest. Here are some notable excerpts from his session at the literary festival, titled “The Writer and the World” [after his collection of essays], which illustrate his struggles in his early writing career.

  • Literature by women—for women or for all?

    In The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath writes about a young woman, Esther Greenwood, experiencing the publishing industry on a summer internship, as well as life in New York City, for the first time.

  • 'Great Expectations' of literary food

    From cartoons to books to movies, there is one recurring theme that catches the eye and engages all sensory experiences, and true to Proust's belief, it is the pure, unadulterated joy of a good meal.

  • The Enchanted Wood and other childhood stories of travel

    Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a little girl got her hands on a book, a book about siblings, of living in the countryside, and going on adventures—a book that would later give way to other books on more adventures and misadventures, turning the little child into an adult who constantly daydreams of taking off to some faraway land.

  • Literature's #MeToo

    The committee that decides the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature every year is in shambles. The Swedish Academy, rocked by a sexual harassment scandal against an individual close to the committee,

  • Ben Okri: The writer, the artist

    “The Magic Lamp” is a collection of 25 short stories by Okri inspired by 25 original paintings by Rosemary Clunie. Okri calls it his “first real unintentional intentional book”, after having been spontaneously inspired by one of Clunie's paintings. Spontaneous, however, may not be entirely accurate.

  • Who reads young adult books?

    How the young adult genre evolved to gain universal readership

  • Jane Austen's words, in numbers

    Jane Austen is seeing something of a revival, if that can be said of an eternally popular writer, this year.

  • A walk in the wake of destruction

    In all likelihood these [the rings] are fragments of a former moon that was too close to the planet and was destroyed by its [Saturn's] tidal effect...

  • Living and dying by the code

    “How many governments have fallen,” the prince had gone on, “And how many kingdoms have been swept from the face of the earth, and Orosh is still standing.”

  • “Intoxicated with madness, I'm in love with my sadness”

    Sylvia Plath indeed died memorably as foreshadowed in a poem written in the final months of her life.

  • Kafka in the age of the internet

    “I see, these books are probably law books, and it is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”

  • Sukumar's Myth and Magic

    Silly rhymes, nonsensical verses, absurd characters - that's how Sukumar Ray introduced poetry in to my life with his book Abol Tabol (Rhymes without Reasons), an amazing collection of classic Bengali nonsense poetry.