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 Dhaka may be one of the most densely populated cities in the world - noisy, grid-locked, short on public amenities, and blighted with sprawling slums - but, as these stories show, it is also one of the most colourful and chaotically joyful places you could possibly call home. Slum kids and film stars, day-dreaming rich boys, gangsters and former freedom fighters all rub shoulders in these streets, often with Dhaka's famous rickshaws ferrying them to and fro across cultural, economic and ethnic divides.

Just like Dhaka itself, these stories thrive on the rich interplay between folk culture and high art; they both cherish and lampoon the city's great tradition of political protest, and they pay tribute to a nation that was borne out of a love of language, one language in particular, Bangla (from which all these stories have been translated).

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 One of World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2016


"The quality of the translations and their editing is a testament to the quality of output from the workshops held at the Dhaka Translation Center, which noted Bangladeshi poet Kaiser Haq describes in the foreword: these stories are as alive as the city they celebrate and describe. The Book of Dhaka is an exciting omen for the future of Bangla-language literature translated into English."  - World Literature Today
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Additional Information

Publisher
Comma Press
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Published on
Sep 29, 2016
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Pages
164
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ISBN
9781905583805
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Shaheen Akhtar
A quarter-century after the war that was meant to bring liberation to Bangaldesh, Mukti, a young researcher, comes into Mariam’s life, armed with a set of questions that have no easy answers. How did Mariam, and women like her – Biranganas, the raped women, touted as the new nation’s ‘honour’ but treated quite otherwise by their families and society – survive the war? Why did Mariam send her young brother away but stay on herself in Dhaka as the city became increasingly unsafe? How did the Pakistani army deal with the women they found in homes, in offices, in colleges? Did the Muktijoddhas, the freedom fighters, protect ‘their’ women?

For Mariam, these questions are almost irrelevant. Instead, she is haunted by different demons: she tried so hard to save Montu, yet the war swallowed him up even before he could fully understand its meaning. How did this happen? What happened to the men in her life: Jashimul Haque, Abed Jahangir, Ishtiaque I and II - where did they all go? What does freedom and independence mean? Is there any place for her and women like her in the new nation?

Shaheen Akhtar’s mesmerizing and moving novel, set against the background of the Bangladesh war of independence, skilfully explores the violence done to women, their courage and heartbreak, their search for love and their betrayal. Akhtar’s is one of the younger voices to explore this hitherto hidden dimension of the history of Bangladesh. The Search (Taalash) was awarded the Prothom Alo Literary Prize in Bangladesh in 2004.

Published by Zubaan.
Erik Larson
In The Devil in the White City, the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.

Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

To find out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.
Shaheen Akhtar
A quarter-century after the war that was meant to bring liberation to Bangaldesh, Mukti, a young researcher, comes into Mariam’s life, armed with a set of questions that have no easy answers. How did Mariam, and women like her – Biranganas, the raped women, touted as the new nation’s ‘honour’ but treated quite otherwise by their families and society – survive the war? Why did Mariam send her young brother away but stay on herself in Dhaka as the city became increasingly unsafe? How did the Pakistani army deal with the women they found in homes, in offices, in colleges? Did the Muktijoddhas, the freedom fighters, protect ‘their’ women?

For Mariam, these questions are almost irrelevant. Instead, she is haunted by different demons: she tried so hard to save Montu, yet the war swallowed him up even before he could fully understand its meaning. How did this happen? What happened to the men in her life: Jashimul Haque, Abed Jahangir, Ishtiaque I and II - where did they all go? What does freedom and independence mean? Is there any place for her and women like her in the new nation?

Shaheen Akhtar’s mesmerizing and moving novel, set against the background of the Bangladesh war of independence, skilfully explores the violence done to women, their courage and heartbreak, their search for love and their betrayal. Akhtar’s is one of the younger voices to explore this hitherto hidden dimension of the history of Bangladesh. The Search (Taalash) was awarded the Prothom Alo Literary Prize in Bangladesh in 2004.

Published by Zubaan.
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