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The Shadow Lines

by

3.83 rating

Comment 1: This book was recommended to me by a friend who had simply loved it. She claimed the book to be one that was meant to be read several times, with each reading rendering a deeper understanding and probably a different interpretation. I was naturally curious and wanted to see what she meant by that statement. With that in mind, I promised to read it with her and discuss it. Of course, I was really lazy and never got around to reading it, until today. As I sit to review this book, the first thought that comes to my mind is that Man is either a master or a slave or even worse a victim of his memories. This thought brings to mind a quote by Marcel Proust “Remembrance of things in the past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” Wondering why I am talking about memories and its impact on our lives? Well, this book is a narration of a boy’s memories, told after he has attained manhood. His is a world of blurred lines, lines that were interpreted differently by him as a boy and which is perhaps seen differently today as a man. It is a story of a boy growing into a man, living in the shadow world of memories, which are so powerful that it has an impact on his present. Set against the backdrop of some of the most important historical moments of the world, including the Second World War, Partition and the communal violence in Dhaka and Calcutta, this is a tale of love, of passion, of death, of the pains of growing up and lastly a tale of memories, which somehow never let you go. It is a story that makes you smile, when you want to cry; that moves you to tears when you are laughing, a story so poignant and multi-faceted that makes you fall in love with it, even when you don’t want to.The crazy thing about this book is that it doesn’t have a plot; there is no beginning and no end. It reads like one big rambling, which can be quite irritating but somehow isn’t. However, this lack of a solid plot doesn’t mean that there is no central theme governing the book. I believe this is a book, which portrays how we as humans live life in the shadow lines of our memory. Gabriel Garcia Marquez puts it very nicely, when he says “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” When you look at the book from this point of view, everything said in these pages suddenly makes sense. It then becomes a tale of a boy who lives in a world of memories, which include both his memories as well as the memories of those around him. Life as we live today is filled with such memories, which not only include our own but also those of others around us. If we were to write a story around those memories, reflections will show the shadow lines that exist between perception and reality. And I believe that the author is trying to emphasise this point in this story. The nameless narrator in this book takes you through his story, which despite being his own, is influenced by his family and friends, making it a sum of their memories rather than his own. It is a story that begins 13 years before his birth and ends on the night when he is returning to India from London. It is a story that introduces you to the two most important people in his life, Tridib and Ila, and how they influenced him, his decisions and ultimately his life. Their memories are entwined with his to such an extent that he is a man who can easily find his way in London, despite never having visited the city earlier. However, the saddest part is that he remembers a London of yesteryears as opposed to the one that is today!As I said earlier, the book was one big ramble from the narrator, which made me feel as if I was caught in a blur. Well, I guess it was supposed to read that way but my first impression was “What am I doing reading a book with neither plot nor story, no beginning and therefore no end?” However, despite feeling unsure and even a little irritated with the style in the beginning, I persevered and in a really convoluted way, I am glad I read it till the end. Of course, being happy about finishing a book does not in any way mean that I totally understood it. Honestly, I am as clueless today while reviewing this book as I was when I began reading it. While some things were made clear at the end, I still felt like being left hanging, wondering what happened next. I don’t blame the author for ending the book in that manner, given that he did clarify certain aspects, but then I felt as if I was walking on a cloud, which suddenly decides to disappear leaving me suspended and unsure. Despite the lack of clarity or maybe because of it, I found beauty in this book. I found myself being transported into those memories, experiencing them with the nameless narrator and I found myself being enchanted, even when I didn’t want to be. Today I understand what my friend meant when she said that this is a book that you may have to read many times before you truly understand the depths involved. With extremely confused feelings and yet strangely happy, I recommend this book to everyone because honestly and perhaps selfishly I want to hear your thoughts about this one! Finally a big thank you to Eunice who recommended this book to me and made me read it. It was a wonderful, albeit a blurred journey, which I totally enjoyed.

Corner Shop

by

3.23 rating

Comment 1: It’s a straight forward book and quite an engaging read. Whether, I enjoyed it or not is another matter altogether. "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it" a quote by Oscar Wilde is the crux of the story. The plot revolves around 3 generation of Khalil family who resides in London. What happens when they get or reached their dreams? How they decide to live their life after attaining their desire, forms the rest of the story. Th Comment 2: It is so refreshing to pick up a book this well-written. The story is slow-starting and more a slice of life (very dysfunctional ones) than it is "action-packed" but picks up well along the way. I caught myself more than once re-reading sentences that were so intuitive I wondered "who notices things like that?"...Farooki does. This is one of the most talented authors I have come across to date. If she had a smashing story she would rank up there with Khaled Hosseini. I have ordered all of her ot Comment 3: Books that make you think long after the last page is read are a rarity, but this book will do exactly that. The story of three generations of Khalils explores the two tragedies in life according to Oscar Wilde; one is never achieving your dreams and the other is achieving them all. What happens to that person who at a young age realizes all their dreams? What do they do next? Do they get new dreams? Where do you go from the top and how do you handle it? Zaki was probably my favorite character,

Brick Lane

by

3.35 rating

Comment 1: Could it take me longer to read a book? I made myself read this book everyday so I could be done with it and properly hate it.Look at what the NY Review of Books said:"Ali succeeds brilliantly in presenting the besieged humanity of people living hard, little-known lives on the margins of a rich, self-absorbed society."WHO IS THIS CRAZY NUT? You need to read a book like Brick Lane to understand "besieged humanity" or what it's like to live a "hard, little-known" life? The protaganist moves around in the book like she's had a lobotomy. It wasn't until page 152, I believe, when Nazneen giggles. FINALLY, the woman shows a sign of life. Her senses are completely dulled. Don't buy into the crap about "what it must be like to live a suppressed/oppressed life as a Muslim woman." That's not what's going on. Compare Nazneen's character to that of her sister, aunt, and friends. It's a wonder that lifeless Nazneen even moves into an affair with a younger man. The most ridiculous part (and because of that, maybe the most enjoyable?) of Nazneen's story is when she stops this evil money lender Mafia-like woman in the story by asking her to swear on the Qu'ran. Really, is that all it took? This woman is an interest-charging money lender (which, apparently, is a big NO-NO as a Muslim) who runs a religious school for girls and raises her sons to be repo-man thugs but she's afraid to swear on the Qu'ran because of an accounting discrepancy? Score one for Nazneen and her growing independence!OK, to be fair, Nazneen is supposed to be a woman who is passive. Her own mother left Nazneen's entrance into the world up to Fate and that fatalism is what she was raised on. But how she moved from that passivity into an affair with a younger man? Kind of muddy. And her decision to stand up to her husband and stay in the UK with the kids? Little murky. But why should I nitpick? Who knows why we do anything in this world?Back to being unfair (because I was so bored by this book)...If you read it, you'll actually end up sympathizing with her husband Chanu..seriously. If you've started reading the book, you will understand what I mean. I know he's supposed to be some idiot windbag who talks like a bigshot at home but deals with the disappointed fragments of his dreams outside the home, but do we need 200 pages of his pathetic flaps to understand this??? And, if one could isolate the number of sentences or paragraphs that concerned the corns on his feet, could there be about 20 pages? Is this the same "brilliant book about things that matter" that Ian Jack of Granta refers to? People! Puh-leeze give me a break!THE ONE REALLY GOOD THING ABOUT THIS BOOK is the story about Nazneen's sister. She writes letters to her sister detailing her life in Dhaka. The character Hasina is everything that Nazneen is not: angry, sad, happy, determined, loving, and alive. Her life is amazing. The letters alone saved the book. However, even this was ruined by Monica Ali. Why did Hasina's letters need to be written in some strange broken English or literally translated Bengali? If we can view Nazneen's life through grammatically correct English, why can't we understand Hasina in something gramatically correct? Is this to emphasize her distance? Whatever. Weird and frustrating to read.

Aakhir e Shab Kay Hamsafar / آخر شب کے ہمسفر

by

3.94 rating

Comment 1: قرۃ العین حیدر کے ناول 'آخرِ شب کے ہمسفر' کو پڑھتے ہوئے مجھے ایک عجیب طرح کے بھاری پن کا احساس ہوا . جہاں ان کے دوسرے ناولوں (دلربا ، چاندنی بیگم ، چاۓ کے باغ وغیرہ ) میں روانی اور سبک خرامی ہے وہیں 'آخر شب کے ہمسفر ' کے پلاٹ میں کئی جگہ رکاوٹ سی محسوس ہوئ . مثال کے طور پر دیپالی سرکار کی عمر کا وہ زمانہ جو شانتی نکیتن میں گزرا . یہاں آ کر پلاٹ کچھ سست پڑ جاتا ہے

Revenge

by

3.4 rating

Comment 1: Should this book or review pique your interest then please heed my warning: DO NOT read the blurb on the back cover nor the summary description shown here on Goodreads -- if you do, then technically you've read the book. There will be little left of surprise.Revenge is pretty straight forward in both language and plot. As the title states -- it is a story of vengeance. The setting is in contemporary Bangladesh and centers around the failing relationship of a newly married couple: Jhumar and Haroon. Told through first person narrative, Jhumar guides the reader through their early courtship full of passion, adventure, open communication and mutual respect for one anther and their individul goals. That however is short lived and within six weeks into her marriage, she has become nothing more than the dutiful wife:: "I'd gratified him by preparing meals three times a day, doing all the washing, and taking care of the house, not once allowing the scarf to slip from my head. Neglecting none of my wifely obligations either in bed or at the stove."And therein lies the problem. In a patriarchal culture where a woman's docility and obedience is expected, and "where a women with a physic degree is asked only to boil water", she has become contracted to serve the needs of both her husband and in-laws while allowing her own to go dormant. But life continues to be unjust and following a horrendous breach of faith in her marriage, Juhmar soon takes on a fight back to self and a well hatched plan of revenge is put in order. What I enjoyed most about this book was its relatability for women in general despite ethnicity and culture. I mean, who hasn't in some point of their life gone missing during that slippery transition between you, me and us? Now, while I did not agree with her chosen method of liberation, and actually foresee it leading to a chain of deeper issues, I understand the need of reclamation and validation she was seeking.I was initially wavering between a 3.5 and a 4, but went with the latter because I feel that the book gave credible insight into a culture where many women are still in struggle for the most very basic rights of equality.

Brick Lane

by

3.35 rating

Comment 1: At the risk of a wholly autobiographical review, I feel the need to introduce Monica Ali’s Brick Lane with some personal back story. Since December of 2007, my reading was almost entirely confined to non-fiction of the historical/political variety. While interesting, it was also heavy and dry. I eschewed fiction beyond brief forays into a mystery or a romance. Then, in February of 2009, I picked up Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, anticipating the same enjoyment I felt while reading The Sat Comment 2: What I liked in reading Chanu, this Bangladeshi man failing from one career to the next as he’s caught under the wheels of the whiteness racism machine, is how he voices the crime of colonialism and makes rightful condemnations of Britain’s Indian Empire. And that was it. Because whatever good qualities Chanu might possess that could redeem his slovenliness, his egotism, and his deluded self-aggrandizement are persistently warped by what is obvious to the reader, and what is always there in the Comment 3: I really wanted to like this book but I didn't enjoy it one bit. I found it tedious, utterly bland and skimmed at top speed through the last ten chapters. There's only so many times that you can write about someone cutting the corns off her husband's feet or said someone eating her food at the sink in the dead of the night or a BBCB (British Born Confused Bangladeshi) girl kicking her sibling in her bottom. I couldn't help but marvel at the flatness of the characters- Chanu seemed to be defined

A Golden Age

by

3.74 rating

Comment 1: Some khademul Islam from ‘Daily star’ has said that this book is a definitive novel on 1971!Who is this man? Is he from Pakistan or outer planet? Please, send him a copy of ‘The days of 1971’ by Jahanara Imam.Okay, before I say other things, first a little about Tahmima. She was born in 1975 in Dhaka but has grown up abroad (Goodreads says in Paris, New York City and Bangkok). Thus naturally She has very faint idea about Bengalis and her book says so. Now she is from Harvard, so it becomes her responsibility to write a novel to keep alive the University tradition. Like uncle Ben of Peter Parker, we also can say, With big degree comes big responsibility to write a book! Now what to do! When she has a Bengali origin, why should not she encash the year of 1971? For the writers that year was ‘Annus mirabilis!’Now let’s turn the pages of the novel ‘The golden age.’ The book is more about the personal life of Rehana Haque and her son Sohail and daughter Maya than about the happenings of 1971. Most of the descriptions of the book compel me to compare it with the book ‘The days of 1971’ by Jahanara Imam.Following are the few points at which I felt immense amazement (disappointment also):1.tThe novel ‘The golden age.’ has very critical name because I could not understand when a country is under military reign and the most fierce suppression, from which angle the time seems to be ‘golden’?2.tThe book opens with a description of a party that Rehana was hosting. The main item was biriyani and as a sweet dish there was jilapi at the end. Wait, Jilapi! Why? In my whole life I have never seen that jilapi is given as the sweet dish. Have you?3.tThen 25 th of march. The Pak Sena gunned down Shahid Minar, University halls and Madhuda’s canteen, murdered eminent academics and several innocent citizens (Ref. The days of 1971). Rehana, Sohail and Maya was in the house of Mrs. Chowdhury where out of panic, Mrs. Chowdhury forced her daughter Silvi to marry Sabeer. The behavior of the characters that Tahmima portrayed throughout the book are simply illogical and out of consistency.4.tAt the same night Mrs. Chowdhury’s dog Romeo got dead out of fear. In ‘The days of 1971,’ Imam’s dog also died that night. What a Dog-to-Dog resemblance!5.tAfter 25 th, refugees came to find a shelter at the house, Shona. Rehana instantly cooked chicken dishes, korma, okra etc. for them! Is not it strange! 6.tSo far I can imagine, Dhaka is a populated city. No one can posses a land of a size of ‘Do bigha jamin’!! So it is natural that Rehana’s one house and the her other house, Shona will be over a land of the size of few ‘Kathtas.’ Also, though Shona is at the back side of Rehana’s house, it is not situated at the end of a blind lane. Then how Aref and Joy brought a truckfull of medicines to Rehana’s home and nobody noticed it!!! 7.tThe guerrilla boys brought their severely wounded Major to Shona one night. A doctor operated him and major tooke shelter for nearly one month. Sometimes Aref or Joy or the Doctor used to come there. NO BODY NOTICED their movement! Fine! 8.tThen, I did not understand, Why maya, who is a member of communist party and a supporter of Mukti Judha did not want to shelter Major!! Sudden mood change due to hormonal imbalance?9.tRehana took care of major and provided breakfast, lunch and dinner to him. Nice. What I want know who GAVE HIM BEDPANE? WHO USE TO BRUSH AND SHAVE HIM? WHO CHANGED HIS CLOTHINGS? no answer. RATHER the Major even in his sick bed always have breath with a smell of watermelon!!!!10.tRehana went with Faiz to bring Sabeer from jail in a car! Faiz was reading a English newspaper where Maya, from Calcutta has published an essay in support of guerrilla war. Newspaper, in English? In 1971? Without military censorship? ‘The days of 1971’ says a different story.11.tOne does not need to cross Howrah Bridge to reach Saltlake from Calcutta. 12.tThroughout the novel you will not be able to differentiate the seasons, day or night, morning and noon, afternoon and evening. At the morning it is foggy, at noon sun is blazing! In December night, fan is at full speed!13.tRehana and Maya were sleeping side by side in a bed. At night major came and lifted Rehana from her bed and carried to Shona. They made love for whole night and Maya could not know that her mother is absent from bed!!! How did major entered the home at all? Is this usual for the Dhakha habitants to go to sleep without locking their doors?14.tIs any military man so much dumb headed that they thought major as Rehana’s son Sohail!!!!! Major is even older than Rehana!! THOUGH A COW IS TOO HEAVY TO CLIMB EVEN A ROSEBUSH, THE AUTHOR HAS SENT IT TO MARS!!! These are only few cases that I mentioned. I can find faults in every pages and put exclamation marks every alternate lines. But I am feeling tired. Finally, the incidents of 1971 is always a hot selling topic and no doubt Tahmima wanted to encash it. She is very much successful in selling her books. THOUGH THE BOOK WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH MUCH BETTER ONLY IF TAHMIMA HAS SOME SENSE OF LOGIC.

The Black Coat

by

3.5 rating

Comment 1: In the guise of politics , it is one man's personal philosophical battle. While the premise and the starting of this historical fiction was very good, sadly the writing slowly gets sloppier and sloppier up to the point where it becomes excruciating. While in the beginning I was genuinely intrigued by the lead characters by the middle of the book they become incomprehensible and I could not care less for any of them. Kudos to the writer for having chosen a subject which is generally considered ta Comment 2: Just finished this. Amazing. The protagonist is a journalist, who utilizes his protege to earn money during the time of a devastating famine in Bangladesh. The book is like a fable. It is absolutely Orwellian. Politics is at its core, but politics is not the main issue; it is only the outer shell. Inside politics there is a world of deception and fraud, repression and regret. Not many novels I know of have mixed the public with the private so skillfully. Comment 3: Most of us in India, remember 1971 as the year in which we had fought a war with Pakistan. We do not realise the importance of that war, which led to the birth of a new nation, a new neighbour – Bangladesh. This book, set in the nascent period of Bangladeshi independence, is a satire on the Mujib government of that time.

The Good Muslim

by

3.63 rating

Comment 1: Deuxième volet d'une trilogie retraçant l'histoire du Bangladesh a travers l'expérience d'une famille, Un bon musulman suit le destin d'un frère et d'une sœur dont les routes divergent après les traumatismes de la guerre d'indépendance. Devenue médecin, Maya, qui milite en faveur de l'émancipation des femmes de son pays, ouvre un dispensaire, cependant que son frère adoré, Sohail, se réfugie dans les traditions les plus rigides de la religion musulmane. Un roman dont la puissance et la nécessité Comment 2: The Good Muslim is a sequel to ‘The Golden Age’, and that is on my list to read. Set in independent Bangladesh, in the 80s, the book revolves around Maya Haque and her family. Maya, a medical doctor, has been away from her home for many years – the years following Bangladesh’s independence. She returns home to her mother and brother and realizes that her brother has completely changed. Before the war, Maya had been a revolutionary and she and her brother had been inseparable. The war had impacte Comment 3: I only realised that this was a sequel after i had purchased the book, but that didn’t hold me back from reading it even though I hadn’t read The Golden Age. Anyways, i quiet enjoyed the book, the only thing about the book that I didn’t fancy was the back and forth of the storyline. In the beginning I had to keep going back to the previous chapters to check the years but after a while I got the grip of it. I loved Maya, what a strong character, she is what every women should be in certain scenes

Lajja: Shame

by

3.4 rating

Comment 1: Let another name for religion be humanism.কোন জাতি কি কখনো সম্পূর্ণ ভাবে সভ্য হতে পারবে? আদৌ সভ্যতা কি মানুষের চরিত্রে আছে? না সবই একটা বড় মরীচিকা? শহীদ আসাদ থেকে নব্বইয়ের দিকে সব হিন্দু বাড়ি পুড়িয়ে ফেলা, আবার এখন ২০১৫-তে এসে ৩ বছরের বাচ্চার ধর্ষিত হওয়া, এরপর রাজন হত্যা! এ চক্র শুধু বড় হচ্ছে, আর মানুষ হিসেবে আমরা ক্রমশ ছোট। এ বই দত্ত পরিবারকে নিয়ে। ভারতের বাবরি মসজিদ পুড়ে গেলে, এই মুলুকের উগ্র মুসলিমদের উগ্রতা বেড়ে যায়, পাথর চেপে বসে এ পরিবারের উপর। সময়ের পরিবর্তনে তারা ধূতি ছেড়ে পায়জামা ধরে, কিন্তু শেষ রক্ষা হয় না, ভারতের উগ্রবাদী হিন্দুদের মজা শিখাতে এখানকার উগ্র মুসলিমেরা অনেকের মতই এ পরিবারের মেয়েকে তুলে নিয়ে যায়, লুটে নেয় তাদের সম্পদ। দত্ত বাড়ির সে মেয়ে আর পরবর্তীতে ফিরে আসে নি। বিচার আচার কিছুই তারা পায় নি। খুব সহজে পরাজয় হয় দত্তদের শখের আদর্শের !আমি বঙ্গবন্ধু সম্মেলনে এক বছর আগে এক প্রতিযোগিতার পুরস্কারের জন্য গিয়েছিলাম। আমার পাশে আমার চেয়ে ২-৩ বছরের বড় একটা ছেলে ছিল বসা। প্রধানমন্ত্রী তখন মঞ্চে ভাষণ দিচ্ছিলেন 'সম্প্রীতি', 'সাম্য', 'বৈষম্য রোধ' এসব নিয়ে। আমি বেশ মনোযোগ নিয়ে ভাষণ শুনছিলাম, আর পাশের ছেলেটা একটু পরপর ফিক করে হেসে দিচ্ছিল। বলে রাখি, তখন কোন এক রাজাকারের ফাঁসি দিতে গিয়েও ফাঁসি দেওয়া হয় নি। তো বিরক্ত হয়ে এক পর্যায়ে আমি তাকে জিজ্ঞেস করেই ফেললাম তার সমস্যা কি। সে আমার দিকে কিছুক্ষন তাকিয়ে বলেছিল যে ঐদিন যদি ফাঁসির রায় দিয়ে দিত, সে আজকে এ অনুষ্ঠানে আসতে পারত না, কারন সে যেখানে থাকে সেখানের কয়েকটা হিন্দু বাড়িকে পুড়তে হত, সে নিজেও হিন্দু কি না! আরো কথা বার্তার পরে সে এক পর্যায়ে বলেছিল, পরের বছর তারা পুরো পরিবার ভারতে (চেন্নাই অথবা গুজরাটের যেকোন একটাতে, আমার এখন আর ঠিক মনে নেই) চলে যাবে। ম্যাজোরিটির অংশ হওয়া সবসময় সুখকর নয়। যেভাবে সংখ্যালঘুদের আমরা অত্যাচার করছি, পাকিস্তান আর এ বাংলাদেশের মাঝে আমি আর পার্থক্য দেখি না!যাই হোক, বইয়ের দূর্বলতা বলতে কোন সম্পূর্ণ পজিটিভ মুসলিম চরিত্রকে না রাখাকে মনে হয়েছে। ম্যাজরিটির সবাইকে ষড়যন্ত্রকারী হিসেবে দাঁড়া করানোর কোন মানে হয় না। অনেককে বলতে শুনলাম এখানে ইসলামের সমলোচনা করা হয়েছে, আমি পড়ে এরকম কিছুই পেলাম না। এখানে স্পষ্টত ম্যাজরিটির সমালোচনা করা হয়েছে সেই ম্যাজরিটি যে ধর্মাবলম্বী হোক না কেন! অনেক জায়গায় তো ইন্ডিয়ার উগ্রবাদী হিন্দুদেরও শুনিয়েছেন লেখিকা! আরেকটা সমস্যা হচ্ছে বইয়ে অনেক জরিপের তথ্য, ডাটা ইত্যাদি তুলে ধরা হয়েছে একটু পরপর। তাই যারা বাঙ্গালি নয়, তাদের কিছুটা বিরক্ত লাগবে। তাছাড়া লেখার মান ভালোই। এরকম সাহসী লেখা বাংলাদেশে, মহিলা হয়ে কয়জনই বা লেখার সাহস করেছেন? এ বইও যে নিষিদ্ধ করা হল এটাও বা লজ্জা থেকে কম কি!.................“If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them."[Freedom of the Park, Tribune, 7 December 1945]”― George Orwell

The Newlyweds

by

3.41 rating

Comment 1: Maybe this book tried to cover too much ground, and so was unable to fully explore any of it. Amina, living in Bangladesh, meets George, living in in the United States, via the internet. And true love blossoms. Only, it really isn’t much a “true love.” All the characters in this novel are greatly flawed, so much so that one is glad they exist only on the printed page! Both George and Amina have secrets and agendas they keep to themselves. He wants a “Stepford wife,” she wants to live in the USA Comment 2: This is a novel about an arranged marriage between a Bengali woman and an American man — the catch being that it’s the bride and groom who do the arranging. They meet through a dating site; though Amina’s parents approve of George, after meeting him, it’s Amina who has chosen him. Though the story kept me going, I found the characters, especially George, somewhat stereotypical: he’s an engineer, and Freudenberger gives him just the personality you might expect a cartoon engineer to have: rigid, Comment 3: This was quite an interesting and thought-heavy book. The Newlyweds tells the story of Amina Mazid, a young Bangladeshi woman who dreams of escaping into a life abroad. After giving up hopes of going abroad for education, she begins online dating in an attempt to marry a foreigner. She meets American George Stillman on one of those awkward, almost-mail-order-bride websites. Remarkably, George meets all her mother's requirements for a fiancé (though Amina and George both harbor a few unromantic u

A Golden Age

by

3.76 rating

Comment 1: অনুবাদ পড়েছি তাই কিছু জায়গা খুব খাপছাড়া মনে হয়েছে। নাহলে বোধয় ৫ তারাই দিতাম। অনুবাদকে খারাপ বলছিনা কিনতু কয়েকটা লাইন যেন আকষরিক অরথে অনুবাদ করা হয়েছে পরথম দিকে। শেষের দিকটায় একদম অবশয সেসব বালাই নেই তাই খুব উপভোগ করেছি। একটা বড় দবিধা ছিল লেখিকার সমপরকে জেনে যে মুকতিযুদধের মতো বিষয়কে আসলে তার মরযাদা অনুযায়ী পরকাশ করতে পারবেন কিনা। কিনতু যত পৃষঠা উলটেছি তত মন ভাল লাগায় ভরে গেছে। শেষের টুইসটটা ভাল ছিল। খুব অলপ কথায় যুদধের ভয়াবহতা তুলে ধরাটাও ভাল লেগেছে।

Memories of Rain

by

3.39 rating

Comment 1: One of the most exquisite proses that I've ever read and it is delivered via stream-of-consciousness. They say that Sunetra Gupta (born 1965) is the true heir of Virginia Woolf but for me her prose is even better because it is more contemporary; that means you don't have to imagine while reading some far away times in some distant alien land. When Gupta is explaining her settings and events by what her character the beautiful Moni thinks and feels, it is not hard for me to imagine the scenes especially those that are set in India because I also grew up in the province of a third-world country. The story is something that has been written so many times before: Anthony, a British comes to India and he meets Moni a beautiful Indian girl who is younger than him by 10 years. Smitten by Moni's exotic beauty, he takes her to England. Fast forward to 6 years later, Moni is now a mother of a 3-y/o daughter but Anthony is now in love with another woman, Anna. At first, Moni thinks that she can live with the idea of her husband seeing another woman but then something happens and so she has no choice but to go back to India.However, the writing is not something that you encounter everyday: almost no period as the prose seems to mimic the rain, sometimes its a downpour like when Anthony and Moni meet and fall in love. Sometimes, it is light like when Moni is feeding the doves in England and putting water in the bird bath and she remembers her grandmother saying that doves drink by opening their beaks to catch tiny droplets of light rain. Gupta's prose seem to go with the type of rain described in the story that one of the reviewers here on Goodreads compared it to Virginia Woolf's prose in the The Waves (tbr).I was in college vacationing in our farm in a Pacific island when my father told me that I was lucky whenever it rained. The reason why he said this was that our whole family spent our early evenings whenever we were there vacationing by playing card games. There was no electricity so we could not read or see a TV show, not even read books. With an oil lamp though, we could see the prints on the cards so that was our only activity before going to bed. Then my father noticed that whenever it rained, I won. When it was not raining, I lost.My father has been dead since more than a decade ago but I still notice that I always get lucky when it rains. It was raining when I was born according to my mother. I first fell in love with my classmate in college when it was raining and I was looking at her coming out from the mists while I was sitting on a chair in the laboratory sitting by the glass window. My daughter was conceived during my second honeymoon with my wife in Baguio two decades ago and I remember that it was raining while we were walking around Burnham Park. Not to mention the countless times when I share an umbrella with my crush and our bodies touch and it is just a wonderful sometimes strange but still wonderful feeling being close to someone.Memories of rain. It does bring back good memories of yester-years. This book has just added to those. Sunetra Gupta, I will be reading your other works.

Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War

by

2.84 rating

Comment 1: This is actually one of the best secondary sources which exist on the war. I don't know why the book gets so much hate (actually, I do... Its a revisionist account of a highly emotionally laden conflict). It has certain problems. Yes, it's conclusion that at most 100,000 were killed is constructed largely through hand waving, making bold assumptions, which is a departure from her generally highly empirical method. She also gives too much credence to Pakistani military accounts as opposed to othe Comment 2: This book by Sarmila Bose looks at the narrative of Indo-Pak war of 1971 from a very different and controversial perspective. It challenges the narratives of all three participants i.e., India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The book has become, as expected, extremely controversial, owing to its alleged favorable tilt towards the Pakistanis. Nevertheless, it is a very thought-provoking and challenging book which can only be contested once its detractors have actually read it. A must read for anyone in Comment 3: A useless addition to already existing literature on the subject: this book is not a scholarly work that discusses the conflict strategically, neither does it discuss the conduct of war. What it does, however, is that it tries to ‘humanize’ the conflict and study individual events on the ground level and then try to contextualize them, that is, Sarmila Bose has written an apologia and a very poor one at that.

একাত্তরের দিনগুলি

by

4.64 rating

Comment 1: "সারা ঢাকার লোক একই সঙ্গে হাসছে আর কাঁদছে । স্বাধীনতার জন্য হাসি। কিন্তু হাসিটা ধরে রাখা যাচ্ছে না। এত বেশী রক্তে দাম দিতে হয়েছে কান্নার স্রোতেও হাসি ডুবে যাচ্ছে। ভেসে যাচ্ছে। " বইটা শেষ করার পর আমার অবস্থাও এরকম। বেশী খুশী হতে পারছি না, শেষের দিকের বিজয়ের দিনগুলার বর্ণনা পড়েও। এর জন্যে যে মূল্য দিতে হয়েছে তা যে একটু বেশীই চড়া। নি:সন্দেহে আমার পড়া সেরা মুক্তিযুদ্ধের দিনলিপি। আমি মুক্তিযদ্ধ দেখি নি। কিন্তু বইটা পড়ার সময় মনে হচ্ছিল যে যা ঘটছে একদম আমার চোখের সামনে ঘটছে। আমিও অংশ নিচ্ছি। বইটা পড়ার পর বুঝলাম যে শুধু ফ্রন্ট এই না প্রতিটা বাঙ্গালী ভেতরে ভেতরে যে যেভাবে পেরেছে যুদ্ধ করেছিল শত্রুবাহিনীর সাথে। মুক্তিযুদ্ধে শহীদ সকল বাঙ্গালীর প্রতি শ্রদ্ধা।

Fireflies in the Mist

by

3.95 rating

Comment 1: I read this book mainly for a literary criticism that I have to complete for my course. So I both had and didn't have high expectations for this book. So for me the book was good and okay. I liked the use of language in the book and it was interesting but in the end I got annoyed with the characters and the book just became really depressing. But then again this book reflects real life and usually I read books to get away from real life. But then again I have read books that reflect real life an Comment 2: A novel of grand historical sweep by the writer widely viewed as the greatest Urdu author of the 20'th century. Hyder translated her own book, so it doesn't read like a translation. While it deals with the transition of India from British colony to bifurcated Hindu/Muslim nation, it focuses on a group of Muslim women whose lives are intertwined in a way that makes their stories personal, so you care about the people more than the politics. Each has a different fate when India gains independence Comment 3: I had a very hard time getting into this book. I lack a cultural/historical/religious background that would have provided a frame of reference. I constantly had to look up a map or an event or a word. Eventually I made myself just go with the story and not worry about understanding everything. Then I enjoyed it. Unfortunately I didn't really like the way it ended. The style changed, as well as the tone.

Brick Lane

by

3.37 rating

Comment 1: روايه جيده تحكي عن المجتمع البينغالي الاسيوي في بريطانيا, وتملك الكاتبه الجرأه والخبره لتسرد لنا باقتدار عن هذا المجتمع وتناقضاته بين الانعزال التام عن المجتمع الانجليزي او الانخراط فيه وفقدان الهويه, حكايات مشوقه عن الشباب وعن النساء من اجيال مختلفه, ونجحت الكاتبه في رسم صور حيه لشخوصها متفاعله او منعزله مع المكان الذي تم توصيفه ورسمه جيدا. اصول الكاتبه البنغاليه والانجليزيه ساعدت كثيرا في انجاح هذا العمل الجيد. Comment 2: الرواية عن "نازنين" الفتاة البنجلادشية الريفية التي تزوجت من "شانو" الرجل الذي يكبرها في العمر ويعيش في انجلترا وحين أراد الزواج أحب ان تكون زوجته فتاة ريفية تستطيع تلبية طلباته وتربية أطفاله .. ومن خلال حياة "نازنين" و"شانو" نرى حياة هؤلاء المغتربين عن الوطن المشتتين بين قيم تركوها ويحنوا إلى العودة إليها وبين مجتمع يعيشون فيه ويشعرون برفضه لهم .. وجيل جديد ينشأ بين هذا وذاك.

The Shadow Lines

by

3.83 rating

Comment 1: At the heart of Amitav Ghosh's "The Shadow Lines" is the elusive notion of home—of leaving, returning, and above all, of belonging. A meticulously interwoven tapestry of personal recollections, it traces the lives of two interconnected multigenerational families—an Indian one based out of Bengal, and a British one settled in London—deeply affected by tumultuous historical events like the Second World War, partition, and the 1964 Calcutta riots. Primarily told from the perspective of an unnamed n Comment 2: A heart without love is like a bird without wings, comparably a mind without memories is no mind at all. The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh is a novel that made me feel like I could fly like a bird spreading my wings wide in the open sky and there was nothing that could stop me because only I had the power over my imagination. This work of fiction uses the literary device of imagery which helps the readers visualize the settings and events. It’s an example of how much memories affect one as a whol Comment 3: Ghosh's non-chronological narrative has beautiful elements and rich characters, but ultimately I found myself wondering what was unique about this book. There are strong elements that bring to mind Ishiguro's "When We Were Orphans" except the latter is better written and mind blowing. I just fail to see what makes this novel unique. It's not dreadful, it's not boring, but it's certainly not the best piece of international lit out there, and quite frankly I'd rather read Rushdie, Ishiguro, or Coe

Scenes from Early Life

by

3.5 rating

Comment 1: After reading a chunk of Philip Hensher’s Scenes From An Early Life, I had to check the cover: yes, it was a novel. No it was not a precious remembrance of a childhood. Generally I am quite fond of Hensher’s books, but this account of his partner’s growing up in “East Pakistan” is not a solid book. It certainly isn’t novelistic enough. Plot, characterization, theme are quite parsed out of the sentence. You do have a sense of the times, but only filtered through a family –and for some reason occa Comment 2: I rated this as average. It has the feel of a Miss Read story (very bland) but the setting is anything but rural England, and should have been a bit more lively. I had a hard time staying involved even though the timeframe was the struggle for Bangladesh independence, and I knew that all was not peaceful then. Probably with all the perspective coming from a young child, I should not have expected much depth. I did appreciate the minute details of life and did get a sense of how life was then for Comment 3: This will be a sort of 'on the fence' review, as I have no strong feelings either way on this book. I didn't rave over it and rush to bed early to read more and more of it, but neither did I dislike it. The characters were fine, and the descriptions good. Sometimes it leapt around in time a bit too much for me and was a bit confusing. And for some reason I remain baffled by it being a memoir of 'the author's husband'. The author is male so I'm assuming he's gay, which is completely and utterly f

The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide

by

4.27 rating

Comment 1: A must read for a better understanding of 71 war. It's a damning account of Nixon/Kissinger and their role in the Bangladesh genocide. It is a fairly balanced book, with detailed accounts from both Indian and American perspective. It lacks some insight from West Pakistan's perspective and how they saw this, especially given their relationship with USA and their role in China opening. Their part is covered in detail from American perspective which is very enlightening to understand how world lead Comment 2: A riveting account of the bloodiest phase of the post-independence subcontinent. This book should be made mandatory reading across indian classrooms, so that people never forget the horrors of the past. Comment 3: A good book to learn more about an under-researched war - the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war which led to the creation of Bangladesh.

A Golden Age

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3.75 rating

Comment 1: There are a couple of good reasons to appreciate Tahmima Anam’s ’A Golden Age’, a rather light-reading take on the civil war in Pakistan in 1971, or the ’Bangladeshi Liberation War’. Firstly, it’s a book written staunchly from the point of view of a mother to two radicals, and with all the literature we have from the trenches of war, it’s refreshing to read a home front story. Secondly, ’A Golden Age’ is a well-crafted novel that does not get stuck on boring minutiae, but pushes forward like a H Comment 2: ’m always thoroughly pleased when a book surprises me. And this one was a wonderful surprise. Perhaps it was because I started off with almost no expectations about A Golden Age. All I knew about this book was that it was set in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in the 1970s. And what do I know about East Pakistan today, let alone in the 1970s? I guess that’s why it took me a while to pick up this one – really close to the library’s due date. I even renewed it online as I wasn’t sure if I would fin Comment 3: An interesting novel. The story is set in what was then East Pakistan when it was on the verge of, and then during, the Bangladesh War of Independence. I was sorely ignorant of the creation of Bangladesh – a very interesting story. The novel is the first of Tahmima Anam and it has received some critical acclaim. I heard her interviewed twice on CBC – once before I had started reading the novel and then a second time, this time by Michael Enright, when I was about half way done – she is very good

Sultana's Dream and Padmarag

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3.66 rating

Sultana's Dream and Padmarag are boldly provocative works, particularly in the context of the era that spawned them. Written in English in 1905, Sultana's Dream is a delightful satirical work set in Ladyland, where men are in purdah and women firmly in charge of home and government. Published in 1924 and translated here for the first time, Padmarag complements Sultana's Dream in its espousal of women's personal journeys towards emancipation. Resonant with autobiographical undertones, the novella is both a powerful indictment of male oppression and a celebration of Rokeya's faith in a universalist society where women, regardless of race, class, creed and religion, reject the diktat of a tyrannical patriarchal society in favour of a life devoted to improving their lot. Playful, fascinating and intelligent, these novellas offer a keen insight into the psyche of a largely self-taught social activist who has, more than seventy years after her death, come to acquire near-iconic status in South Asia.

Shame

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3.4 rating

Not since Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses has the publication of a book provoked such mob violence, public outcries for the arrest and death of the author, and international efforts to secure her safety.The animosity and bloodletting between Muslim and Hindu extremists on the Indian subcontinent is centuries old. When the Barbri Mosque at Ayodhya, India, was destroyed by Hindu fundamentalists on December 6, 1992, fierce mob reprisals took place against the Hindu minority in Muslim Bangladesh. These incidents form the backdrop for Dr. Taslima Nasrin's explosive and courageous book, Shame, describing the nightmarish fate of one family within her country's small Hindu community.Her book so angered Muslim leaders that a fatwa, or holy judgment, was invoked, offering thousands of dollars to anyone who would kill her. The Soldiers of Islam accused her of "blasphemy and conspiracy against Islam," while the Bengali government charged her with sacrilege merely for saying that the Koran should be revised. After months in hiding, Dr. Nasrin escaped to Sweden with the aid of American, French, and European Union authorities. Her commitment to eliminating religious extremism worldwide is stated in her preface to Shame: "The disease of religious fundamentalism must be fought at every turn. I will continue to write and protest persecution and discrimination. I am convinced that the only way the fundamentalist forces can be stopped is if all of us join together to fight their malignant influence. I, for one, will not be silenced."

The Bones of Grace

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3.77 rating

Comment 1: Zubaida is a student in Cambridge when she falls for Elijah, but the stars are not aligned for the star-crossed lovers, and she returns to her country to follow her family’s plans for her future. Disheartened and stifled by her decision, she moves to the beaches of Chittagong to work on a documentary and seek the remains of “the walking whale.” The Bones of Grace is a deeply moving novel of love, immigration, and loss, moving from Boston to India and back again, that will sweep you away with its Comment 2: Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam succeeds on the most objective level in that it made me want to read Anam’s other books, The Golden Age and The Good Muslim. It is a narrated by Zubaidah Haque, a Bangladeshi woman who grew up with relative privilege. She attended college in the US, studied paleontology and when the book opens, is about to leave for a dig in Baluchistan, Pakistan, to search for ambulocetus, the walking whale, a transitional creature of the land and sea. The symbolism is obvious, as Comment 3: Sadly,i'm glad I finished it,as it was quite slow and hard-going.Yes,the final chapter gives more of a purpose and clarity to the story,but the way it is written-a letter to a lover about finding out identity of birth parents is so mundane.There are definitely moments of interest-and most of them don't concern Zubaida,the main character,but Anwar,poor Bangladeshi trying to make a living.The stream of consciousness coming from Zubaida is quite annoying,as literally very little happens in the book

চিলেকোঠার সেপাই

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4.44 rating

Comment 1: খোয়াবনামা আর চিলেকোঠার সেপাই একি ধাঁচে লেখা। ভাবালুতা, মোহনিয়তা আর কলপনার মানসপটে আঁকা জটিল ছবির বরণনা সব মিলিয়ে উপনযাস দুটি জমজ, হয়ত এটাই উপনযাসের ইলিয়াসি ভঙগি। কিনতু চিলেকোঠা যেখানে অসমপূরণ বলে মনে হয়, খোয়াবনামা সেখানে বিকশিত। হয়তবা চিলেকোঠা ছিল খোয়াবনামার খসড়া। আগে খোয়াবনামা পড়া থাকায় চিলেকোঠা মন ভড়াতে পারলোনা। ঊনসততরের গণঅভযুথানের পরেকষাপটে শহুরে আর গরামযজীবন কাহিনি নিয়ে লেখা এই উপনযাস খোয়াবনামা থেকে পিছিয়ে গেলেও বাংলা সাহিতযে এর অবসথান উপরের দিকেই থাকবে। অতএব খোয়াবনামার পূরবেই চিলেকোঠার সে

The Good Muslim

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3.61 rating

From prizewinning Bangladeshi novelist Tahmima Anam comes her deeply moving second novel about the rise of Islamic radicalism in Bangladesh, seen through the intimate lens of a family. Pankaj Mishra praised A Golden Age, Tahmima Anam's debut novel, as a "startlingly accomplished and gripping novel that describes not only the tumult of a great historical event . . . but also the small but heroic struggles of individuals living in the shadow of revolution and war." In her new novel, The Good Muslim, Anam again deftly weaves the personal and the political, evoking with great skill and urgency the lasting ravages of war and the competing loyalties of love and belief. In the dying days of a brutal civil war, Sohail Haque stumbles upon an abandoned building. Inside he finds a young woman whose story will haunt him for a lifetime to come. . . . Almost a decade later, Sohail's sister, Maya, returns home after a long absence to find her beloved brother transformed. While Maya has stuck to her revolutionary ideals, Sohail has shunned his old life to become a charismatic religious leader. And when Sohail decides to send his son to a madrasa, the conflict between brother and sister comes to a devastating climax. Set in Bangladesh at a time when religious fundamentalism is on the rise, The Good Muslim is an epic story about faith, family, and the long shadow of war.

Galpa: Short Stories by Bangladeshi Women

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3.07 rating

This vibrant and thought-provoking anthology of translated short stories is representative of the variety of issues that women from Bangladesh tackle in their writings. It includes stories about the 1971 War of Liberation, women’s ‘honour’, mother-daughter relationships, the vagaries of marriage and contemporary political corruption.Well-established women writers such as Selina Hossain and Nasreen Jahan are represented here, along with emerging writers, the better to evoke the broad range of Bangladeshi women’s literary voices. Daring in both form and theme, these stories reveal the exciting transformation that fiction writing is currently experiencing on the contemporary literary scene.Niaz Zaman is Professor of English, University of Dhaka. Her publications include the prize-winning study A Divided Legacy: The Partition in Selected Novels of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; the novel The Crooked Neem Tree and the short story anthology The Dance and Other Stories. She is currently preparing a second collection of short stories for the press.Firdous Azim is Professor of English at BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has published widely on literary, cultural and women’s issues, both inside and outside the country, including The Colonial Rise of the Novel (1993). She is an active member of Naripokkho, a woman’s activist group in Bangladesh, and is currently working on a women activists’ memoir project.

العار (لاجا)

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3.44 rating

رواية عن أحداث العنف و الشغب التى نتجت عن هدم المتطرفون الهندوس مسجد بابري فى الهند عام 1992، و قيام المسلمون فى بنجلاديش بالانتقام من الاقلية الهندوسية لذلك

অসমাপ্ত আত্মজীবনী

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4.35 rating

২০০৪ সালে শেখ মুজিবুর রহমানের লেখা চারটি খাতা আকস্মিকভাবে তাঁর কন্যা শেখ হাসিনার হস্তগত হয়। খাতাগুলি অতি পুরানো, পাতাগুলি জীর্ণপ্রায় এবং লেখা প্রায়শ অস্পষ্ট। মূল্যবান সেই খাতাগুলি পাঠ করে জানা গেল এটি বঙ্গবন্ধুর অসমাপ্ত আত্মজীবনী, যা তিনি ১৯৬৭ সালের মাঝামাঝি সময়ে ঢাকা সেন্ট্রাল জেলে অন্তরীণ অবস্থায় লেখা শুরু করেছিলেন, কিন্তু শেষ করতে পারেননি। জেল-জুলুম, নিগ্রহ-নিপীড়ন যাঁকে সদা তাড়া করে ফিরেছে, রাজনৈতিক কর্মকাণ্ডে উৎসর্গীকৃত-প্রাণ, সদাব্যস্ত বঙ্গবন্ধু যে আত্মজীবনী লেখায় হাত দিয়েছিলেন এবং কিছুটা লিখেছেনও, এই বইটি তার সাক্ষর বহন করছে।বইটিতে আত্মজীবনী লেখার প্রেক্ষাপট, লেখকের বংশ পরিচয়, জন্ম, শৈশব, স্কুল ও কলেজের শিক্ষাজীবনের পাশাপাশি সামাজিক ও রাজনৈতিক কর্মকাণ্ড, দুর্ভিক্ষ, বিহার ও কলকাতার দাঙ্গা, দেশভাগ, কলকাতাকেন্দ্রিক প্রাদেশিক মুসলিম ছাত্রলীগ ও মুসলিম লীগের রাজনীতি, দেশ বিভাগের পরবর্তী সময় থেকে ১৯৫৪ সাল অবধি পূর্ব বাংলার রাজনীতি, কেন্দ্রীয় ও প্রাদেশিক মুসলিম লীগ সরকারের অপশাসন, ভাষা আন্দোলন, ছাত্রলীগ ও আওয়ামী লীগ প্রতিষ্ঠা, যুক্তফ্রন্ট গঠন ও নির্বাচনে বিজয়ী হয়ে সরকার গঠন, আদমজীর দাঙ্গা, পাকিস্তান কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের বৈষম্যমূলক শাসন ও প্রাসাদ ষড়যন্ত্রের বিস্তৃত বিবরণ এবং এসব বিষয়ে লেখকের প্রত্যক্ষ অভিজ্ঞতার বর্ণনা রয়েছে। আছে লেখকের কারাজীবন, পিতা-মাতা, সন্তান-সন্ততি ও সর্বোপরি সর্বংসহা সহধর্মিণীর কথা, যিনি তাঁর রাজনৈতিক জীবনে সহায়ক শক্তি হিসেবে সকল দুঃসময়ে অবিচল পাশে ছিলেন। একইসঙ্গে লেখকের চীন, ভারত ও পশ্চিম পাকিস্তান ভ্রমণের বর্ণনাও বইটিকে বিশেষ মাত্রা দিয়েছে।

The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain't Learning

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3.85 rating

Comment 1: The premise of the book is to support decentralization of the education process without actually choosing which path to take (charter, private, voucher, etc.). That's a much better answer than choosing a path, the author argues, because the actual path depends on the society that is building the educational system. The argument is not only convincing, it's basically right. You cannot argue that the same educational system will work in India, China, Nigeria & France. It's actually a bit laugh Comment 2: can get 80% with pritchett's econtalks interview and a couple of the academic papers, but its fun to read.

1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh

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4.19 rating

The war of 1971 was the most significant geopolitical event in the Indian subcontinent since its partition in 1947. At one swoop, it led to the creation of Bangladesh, and it tilted the balance of power between India and Pakistan steeply in favor of India. The Line of Control in Kashmir, the nuclearization of India and Pakistan, the conflicts in Siachen Glacier and Kargil, the insurgency in Kashmir, the political travails of Bangladesh--all can be traced back to the intense nine months in 1971. Against the grain of received wisdom, Srinath Raghavan contends that far from being a predestined event, the creation of Bangladesh was the product of conjuncture and contingency, choice and chance. The breakup of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh can be understood only in a wider international context of the period: decolonization, the Cold War, and incipient globalization. In a narrative populated by the likes of Nixon, Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, Indira Gandhi, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tariq Ali, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, and Bob Dylan, Raghavan vividly portrays the stellar international cast that shaped the origins and outcome of the Bangladesh crisis. This strikingly original history uses the example of 1971 to open a window to the nature of international humanitarian crises, their management, and their unintended outcomes.

The Rape of Bangla Desh

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4 rating

Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib

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3.85 rating

Comment 1: The book "Land of Two Rivers" by Nitish Sengupta mainly focuses on the political history of Bengal since the time of Mahabharata and, roughly, to the 1970 s and the author has done a great job in documenting the major political upheavals that Bengal went through in this broad time period. Comment 2: A lovely lovely book. A concise book that covers the history of Bengal from the earliest times of pre-Aryan civilization to the birth of Bangladesh. Though I haven't finished it yet, I feel the author has maintained an unbiased perspective. Very well researched. Comment 3: Extremely well researched history of Bengal. Extremely monotonous. More of a text book than readable history.

Shame (Independent Banned Books series #24)

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3.44 rating

The Duttas - Sudhamoy, Kironmoyee, and their two children, Suranjan and Maya - have lived in Bangladesh all their lives. Despite being part of the country's small Hindu community, that is terrorized at every opportunity by Muslim fundamentalists, they refuse to leave their country, as most of their friends and relatives have done. Sudhamoy, an atheist, believes with a naive mix of optimism and idealism that his motherland will not let him down... And then, on 6 December 1992, the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in India is demolished by a mob of Hindu fundamentalists. The world condemns the incident but its fallout is felt most acutely in Bangladesh, where Muslim mobs begin to seek out and attack the Hindus... The nightmare inevitably arrives at the Duttas' doorstep - and their world begins to fall apart.