fiction review

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / The enchanting realism in Shahaduz Zaman’s ‘The Mynah Bird’s Testimony’

Shahaduz Zaman is a familiar face in Bangladeshi literature, whose literary career spans decades of fruitful work. He regularly writes columns for Bangla newspapers, has written a few notable biographical fiction, such as Ekjon Komolalebu (Prothoma, 2017), based around the life of Jibanananda Das, and has garnered some duly needed appreciation for ethnographic work on the history of medicine during the liberation war.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / A twisted tale of deception

Reading this book was uncomfortable, like a car crash waiting to happen, it was hard to read and even harder to put down.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / Tucked between moving trains and elegiac dead-ends

Some among us might have wondered what it feels like to hold a lit bomb between our palms. One that will go off inevitably yet its spark, heat, force, weight, and pulsating nature are so fascinating that we are unable to put it down or look away, all the while knowing at the end of the wick we too will be destroyed—a chosen death, a voluntary annihilation.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / The heart will lead you back

Originally from Massachusetts, international development consultant Elizabeth Shick was living with her family in Yangon, Myanmar from 2013-2019 and got to witness not just Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy win the 2015 elections by a landslide, but the military crackdown on Rakhine state that led to the Rohingya exodus into Bangladesh in 2017.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / Aimless in Morisaki bookshop

My introduction to the Bangla translation of Japanese books happened during my visit to Baatighar Chittagong. It was there that I encountered the Bangla translations of works by one of my favourite Japanese writers, Haruki Murakami, back in 2021. Then last year, I found myself enchanted with the promise of Morisaki Boighorer Dinguli (Abosar Prokashona, 2023); the allure of the black edition of the book boasting ebony pages and stunning artwork had me yearning for the book months before its scheduled release.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / Jhumpa Lahiri’s Italian renovations

Jhumpa Lahiri has always been the rare author whose prowess in the art of the short-story far surpassed her novelistic talents.

ESSAY / The ethics of ghostwriting in fiction

Ghostwriting is not new, and Millie Bobby Brown is not the first celebrity to hire a ghostwriter. But, soon after she published her book, she came under fire for using one.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / Learning to let go

As the novel progresses, you peel back layers of history between Claire and her grandparents and realise that the Korea issue isn’t as straightforward as our protagonist imagined.

BOOK REVIEW: FICTION / Discovering something not-so new with ‘The Turtle of Oman’

The melancholic, tuned nostalgia of finishing a journey was being caressed by the soft yet upbeat rhythm of the journey coming forth.

November 30, 2023
November 30, 2023

Keep your secrets close and your tech support closer

Addison Square is one of those hidden enclaves where well-heeled Londoners tuck themselves away to create bubbles of “civilised life” from which they can exclude the riffraff surrounding them in the mega-city they call home.

November 23, 2023
November 23, 2023

In search of lost eden

From the beginning we see Benjamin Honey, the patriarch of the island, longing to return to his past, in a garden, the Eden of his childhood where he reminisces about being with a woman who might or might not have been her mother.

November 23, 2023
November 23, 2023

Despair and death in ‘Truth or Dare’

Bangladeshi literature in English has had a considerably late start compared to its South Asian counterparts in India and Pakistan. A few exceptions aside, a consistency came to be seen only by the early 2010s.

November 16, 2023
November 16, 2023

A masterful portrait of normalised misogyny and sexism

Award winning Irish writer Claire Keegan is a master of short fiction. Her previous novel, Small Things Like

November 16, 2023
November 16, 2023

The complete works of Mahmudul Haque: The chorus of a unique sun

Mahmudul Haque was a writer who championed the modern and independent stream of Bangla literature.

November 2, 2023
November 2, 2023

Love, lies and loneliness

The very first time I came across a description of this book, previously published under the title The Nigerwife (Atria Books, 2023),

October 19, 2023
October 19, 2023

In search of American freedoms

Increasingly over the years, American literary fiction has centered upon rage—a rage brought on by family, one’s own identity or, through the very cruelty of economic catastrophe.

October 19, 2023
October 19, 2023

The Runaway Boy: A promise not delivered

The Runway Boy (Eka, 2020), written by Manoranjan Byapari and translated from Bangla by V Ramaswamy, delivers an accurate portrayal of postcolonial Bengal,

October 17, 2023
October 17, 2023

Emily Wilson’s ‘The Iliad’ is a triumph in translation

Wilson hasn’t written a retelling from the perspectives of the subjugated but has rather been true to the original, although she doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the sheer misogyny of the Homeric period.

October 13, 2023
October 13, 2023

An underwhelming kidnapping

Perhaps the book's biggest fault is that it ends up being (unintentionally or not) a response to Nabokov’s Lolita.

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