What are you reading?
As we are now in the final week of February, Star Weekend asked five writers in the country about the annual Boi Mela and which books they look forward to reading.
“I am looking forward to reading Ghulam Murshid's biography of Kazi Nazrul Islam [“Bidrohi Ronoklanto (Nazrul Jiboni)”]. Dr. Murshid has an excellent track record as a scholar, and I have enjoyed his biography of Michael Madhusudan Dutt and his edition of Dutt's letters. I hope the Nazrul biography will enable me to gain some insights into the rebel poet's personality and the historical situations he had to deal with.”
Kaiser Haq is a poet whose most recent works are "Published in the Streets of Dhaka: Collected Poems" and “Pariah and Other Poems”.
“I choose Izaz Ahmed Milon's “Attokothon: Bedona Amar Jonmo Shohodor”. I picked this book for two reasons. First, the writer has the courage to challenge society and describes quite naturally the reality of his early years. Second, I believe his nuanced observations of his surroundings will lead to him becoming a socially-conscious writer. I was moved by his descriptions of his childhood years, which is a strength of this young writer. Milon upholds societal values and if the youth of the country model themselves after him, there will be less deterioration of societal values.”
Selina Hossain is a short story writer and novelist whose works include “Hangor Nodi Grenade” and “Tanaporen”.
“I have already bought many books and started reading them as well —such as Kamruzzaman Kamu's “Ami Rohingya” and Sumon Rahman's short story, “Niroporadh Ghum”. I am also looking forward to reading Mohiuddin Ahmad's “Ei Deshe Ekdin Juddho Hoyechilo”. As I am currently working on a book on Bangabandhu and Tajuddin Ahmed, I buy any books I can find on them or on our history. So, I am mainly reading books on history, the Liberation War, and autobiographies for research.”
Anisul Hoque is a novelist whose books on the Liberation War include “Ma”, “Alo Ondhokare Jai”, and “Alo Adharer Jatri”.
Anwara Syed Haq
“I have bought so many books, I couldn't tell you all the names! Nowadays, I read mainly books on politics and other subjects that are useful to my work. Of course, these days I cannot read as much as I did earlier.
Anwara Syed Haq is a short story writer and novelist whose recents works are “Byaborita” and “Chander Alo Koddur”.
Imdadul Haq Milon
“I buy and collect books from the Boi Mela in February and start reading them from March. Usually, I buy in bulk starting after February 21, as most books come in by that time. I am looking forward to reading Ghulam Murshid's “Bidrohi Ronoklanto (Nazrul Jiboni)” from Prothoma and Muntasir Mamun's “Hariye Jete Ney Mana” brought out by Journeyman Books. I buy and read books mainly on history, particularly of the Liberation War, and autobiographies.”
He advises readers to buy books on topics they like and not just what everyone else is buying. “Writers are not as important as the subject.” He also adds that readers should try to buy good books and look for substance, over style.
Imdadul Haq Milon is a novelist whose works include “Poradhinota” and “Noorjahan”.