Friday, January 23, 2009

Amar Ekushey

56 English titles hit book fair
Tuesday, 04 March 2008

Amar Ekushey

Staff Correspondent

Fifty-six English titles hit the month-long Amar Ekushey book fair that concluded at the Bangla Academy on Friday with research works dominating the tally.

The new arrivals included two collections of stories, a novel, three collections of essays, eight collections of poems, 12 research works, two books on War of Independence, three books on history, two books on politics and two memoirs.

A total of 2,578 new titles hit the annual event, with poetry dominating the list, sources at the Bangla Academy said adding that books worth more than Tk 20 crore were sold during the fair.

Notable English titles are Badaruddin Umar’s collection of essays, ‘Poverty Trade of Dr Yunus’, M Moniwul Hoque’s ‘The History of Bangladesh’, Selected Poems of Shamsur Rahman translated by Kaiser Haq, Hasnat Abdul Hye’s ‘Aide-Memoire’, Khondakar Ashraf Hossain’s collection of poems ‘On Behula’s Raft’, Selected Poems of Muhammad Samad edited by Kajal Bandyopadhaya, Alfred Khokon’s Phalgun Phenomena translated by Azfar Hussain, Shahidul Alam’s collection of stories, Uneven Octagon, and his collection of essays, Moving Horizons.

Murtaja Baseer’s collection of poems, ‘Fresh Blood Faint Line’, M Anisur Rahman’s memoirs, ‘Through Moments in History’, Harunuzzaman’s novel ‘The Distant Shore’, Abul Hayat’s ‘Mussalmans of Bengal’, and Helena Khan’s collection of stories of the Liberation War of Bangladesh also hit the stand during the fair. Eminent poet the Dhaka University’s English teacher, Khondakar Ashraf Hossain said, ‘Publications, sale and readership of English literature have increased.

I have observed that this year many books appeared at the Ekushey book fair and the number is more than any other previous year.

The opening of English departments in many universities has probably increased the readership of English books among young students.’

Independent university teacher and eminent writer, Shahidul Alam said, ‘I was little bit worried before publishing my collection of stories and essays in English in Bangladesh.

I am pleased to say that the sale of my book that hit the stand this year is quite good.’ Bidya Prakash’s Abdus Salam said the sale of English books was not bad.

They had published a collection of English essays and were with the sales. Sri Lankan poet and senior lecturer of theatre at the Eastern University in Sri Lanka, Jeyasankar Sivagnanam said, ‘I am in Bangladesh on three-week visit just to attend the International Mother Language Day programmes and to collect books in English on literature and culture of the country.’

He said he had bought a number of books, all in English, including Badruddin Umar’s Poverty Trade of Dr Yunus and an English anthology on International Mother Language Day published by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.