Book Alert!

The Exotic Rissole by Tanveer Ahmed

Description from

At turns humorous, stirring, and bravely honest, this memoir considers what it means to grow up as a Bangladeshi-Australian in Sydney’s western suburbs. Eleven-year-old Tanveer Ahmed lives an unpredictable and very entertaining double life—sampling the delights of Aussie cuisine, joining a cricket team that gets mistaken for a terrorist group, and hosting a Bollywood-style game show. Offering insight into the immigrant experience, this book is about the unexpected stories that emerge when cultures clash and a blend of identities define a single individual.

20 hours ago on 09/01/14 at 12:30am


It is about 8 pm, August 26. The season thus far weighs heavy on the crew of this seagoing fishing trawler.

After two full days in the Bay of Bengal, they have only 10 kgs of hilsa to show for their labors. The proceeds have to be shared among the 14 crew, and that is less than one hilsa per fisherman.

The whole season has been thus. They already know they won’t be able to pay back their debt this year.


Kazi Nazrul Islam (24 May 1899 – 29 August 1976)

Mohammad Omar Farooq’s translation in the Daily Star:

The power thrones of today represent devil’s affair,
the power-hungry monsters are busy playing there.
Don’t be afraid, O human soul! Don’t break down in tears!
The drunkard of the underworld won’t prevail much longer here.
With injustice and wrongs black-stained is his throne,
his sword is rusted with the curse of those oppressed.
Painting the sky dark-yellow, approaches the monsoon storm in full power,
the greedy ones are beguiled thinking, this is a beautiful twilight hour.
The fire they have spread around the world, now in its flame in turn,
like blazing fire, everywhere, these wretcheds will burn.

Continue reading here


We meet one boat, then another. Seven of them in the Sunderbans, four fishermen to a boat.

They are all trying to make the most of the three-month fishing window. That time is half over, that window is half closed. And the view is not good.

A 42-year-old fisherman, who has been fishing for 25 years now, tells me this is the worst season he has seen ever.

A little boy, just turned five, dropped several of his mother’s silver plated spoons from the third floor window of a six-story walk up on 112th and Broadway in New York City. He watched them clatter to the asphalt in the narrow alley between two buildings and emitted an impressed, breathy “wow” each time a spoon hit the ground. After he dropped the last spoon, he went to the kitchen to find more stuff to send into orbit, but was soon stopped by his mother. She gave him a choice: did he want to accompany her to the grocery store or be dropped off at kindergarten first? He chose to go to the grocery with her. It was Friday and Mr. Maradona, the grocer, had told him he was getting in a new supply of lemon sours that day.

He watched his mother put on a pea green overcoat that went past her knees, nearly covering her diaphanous white sari and wondered fleetingly why she refused to wear pants when it was so cold outside. That very morning his father had admonished her for not dressing appropriately against the biting November wind. He said the same thing every morning before he went off to class at nearby Columbia - that she should learn to assimilate so she could better relate to American women. He wanted her to emulate them (within reason, of course) but she resisted heartily and always wore a sari, no matter what the temperature was outside.

"Also why are you wearing a white sari?" his father had asked, as he got ready to leave. His mother had shrugged.

"White is for widows, my love," his father had called over his shoulder, just before he stepped into the hallway.

From “A Boy Chooses To Go To the Moon” by Sharbari Zohra Ahmed. The story appears in her first collection of short stories: The Ocean of Mrs. Nagai — Stories, published in Bangladesh by Daily Star Books and also available online as an e-book
1 day ago on 08/30/14 at 09:18pm

Book Review: Tarfia Faizullah's Seam ›

Trista Edwards in American Literary Review:

In her debut collection, Seam, Tarfia Faizullah moves across landscapes and time to piece together a familial tragedy which presents the reader with a legacy of loss, violence, and pilgrimage. The collection spans present-day west Texas’ oil-rich fields, the domestic coves of Virginia, and 1970s Bangladesh in an effort to understand, discover, and memorialize tragic events that unfolded in East Pakistan. 

Continue reading here. 

Aminul Islam Sajib: What Brought the Ax Down On Bangla Blogs? ›

 in AIS Journal:

There was a time when online community in Bangladesh was synonymous with Bangla blogs. Started by Somewherein..Blog and later picked up by many other community blogging platforms, these sites gave writers a place to practice their writing. But it wasn’t only limited to literature practice. People from all walks of life joined in and started writing their everyday activities, thoughts on current affairs and so on. Bloggers even took initiative to help those in need, too, at widespread occurrences such as flood victims and the likes. Bangla blogs once had a good thing going on.

People made friends, and enemies alike, on Bangla blogs. They would write about all topics imaginable and a discussion would take place. Sometimes these led to nasty environment, but most of the time, the situation was friendly and nice.

But that all has been slowly changing. Bangla blogs are active these days, you will find new posts every few minutes, but if you spend some time looking through them, you will see they no longer attract a meaningful discussion. A peek through the front-page of Somewherein..Blog today reveals the biting truth that people are no longer as active on blogosphere as they used to be some six/seven years ago.

Continue reading here.

5 days ago on 08/27/14 at 09:36am

Literary Quartet: Two on Two with Zia Haider Rahman

6 days ago on 08/26/14 at 12:30am

Dhaka Translation Centre Call For Applications: Bangla-English Literary Translation Workshop ›

For more information, click here.

"Dhaka Translation Centre (DTC), in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation, Commonwealth Writers and English Pen, is delighted to announce a call for applications for a workshop on Bangla-English translation, to be held in Dhaka from 15-20 November 2014.

Led by the award-winning literary translator Arunava Sinha, workshop participants will work on a consensus translation of one particular text – a short story or an excerpt from a novel – with the author present. The workshop will offer a space for collaboration and peer learning, where participants will be able to share ideas and, with the text before them, discuss in real-time the challenges of translating from Bangla to English.

After the workshop, participants will be assigned stories to translate for an anthology of fiction of Bangladesh.”