Book Reviews | The Daily Star
  • Tarashankar’s ‘1971’

    Tarashankar Bandopadhyay 1971 (Daily Star Books,2015) was initially supposed to be published as two separate novellas, Shutpar Tapashya and Ekti Kalo Meyer Kahini,

  • A Conference of World Leaders

    There are instances when fiction and history go in synchrony and historical accuracies demand an artistic touch. The play titled Shotoborshi Shonmilon (The Centennial Conference) written by Abdus Selim and Jayed Ul Ehsan, published by the Bangladesh Theatre Archives, could well be on that list.

  • All The President’s Stories

    A Promised Land (Crown Publishing, 2020), former US President Barack Obama’s long-heralded post-presidency memoir, is now here, and it arrives at a national moment when a pandemic is surging at steep, horrifying numbers in the US and when Donald Trump, the outgoing President, is loudly claiming he was cheated of victory by the Deep State and the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

  • An Ethiopian Story of War

    The first Italo-Ethiopian War broke out in 1895, as Italian soldiers marched from Italian Eritrea towards Ethiopia. The Battle of Adwa witnessed Ethiopia’s decisive victory in warding off Italian invaders from its soil.

  • THE DS BOOKS-ROKOMARI ONLINE BOI MELA!

    From December 9-14, 2020, Daily Star Books and Rokomari will be jointly hosting an online book fair! All Daily Star Books publications will have special discounts on Rokomari. For more information, follow fb.com/DailyStarBooks,

  • Reading into Disability: A List

    Notions of “able” bodies and “differently abled” bodies are subjective categories that we, as a society, have drawn across our communities. The books in this list offer stories and insight into how one can better understand the experiences of persons with disabilities, and how the world can create a more inclusive environment.

  • Romila Thapar on Why Dissent is Inevitable

    In an interview with Daily Star Books, historian and author Romila Thapar expands on her arguments in Voices of Dissent. She discusses how dissent has evolved through time in the Indian subcontinent, how multi-voiced communities can coexist, and reading material that offers a deeper understanding of dissent in region.

  • ‘Saogat’ magazine and the gift of critical thought

    In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bengal was rife with the struggle for identity and socio-political upheaval, particularly in the Bengali Muslim communities.

  • Dissent through the Ages in the Indian Subcontinent

    Eminent scholar and Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Romila Thapar, in her latest book, Voices of Dissent (Seagull Books, 2020), explores important perspectives on dissent located in the historical and contemporary context of the Indian subcontinent.

  • In ‘Azadi’, Arundhati Roy explores the many layers of freedom

    Arundhati Roy’s latest, Azadi (Penguin India, 2020), is a collection of nine stand-alone essays, most of which were delivered as lectures or published as columns between 2018 and 2020.

  • In ‘Pachinko’, a Record of Forgotten Lives

    Even in the most extraordinary of political times, someone must tend to the crops. Someone must weave clothes for the winter.

  • The Trauma of Identity

    George Takei’s visceral and heart-wrenching graphic memoir, They Called Us Enemy (2019), dives deep into the cold, dark heart of America’s perceived multiculturalism.

  • Into the World of Bengali Literature with Soumitra

    Though both books and films transport us into the world of story-telling, shaping up our perspectives on life, most readers argue that the true essence of a literary work can never be captured in adaptation.

  • ‘Shuggie Bain’ wins the 2020 Booker prize

    Shuggie Bain (Grove Press, 2020) is the story of a young boy living in “working-class” Glasgow in the 1980s.

  • Reclaiming Historical Spaces through Fiction

    The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Charco Press, 2019) begins in the poor encampments of a village in 19th century Argentina, with the protagonist marvelling at the hope and light she finds in the sight of a puppy playing in some dirt.

  • Money Still Makes the World Go Round

    Jacob Goldstein, author of Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing (Hachette Books, 2020), and the co-host of the radio podcast,

  • 5 NEW NON-FICTION RELEASES TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH

    Autumn means a harvest of new books the world over. While novels and short stories continue to sweep through shelves, this past month

  • On Children’s Literature in Bangladesh: Then and Now

    For World Children’s Day on Friday, November 20, Daily Star Books speaks to contemporary and veteran authors, publishers, and readers of children’s literature written in Bangladesh.

  • Shada Beralera: Nitu and the spectre of a landscape

    Rashida Sultana’s first novel entitled Shada Beralera (White Cats) comes in a slim package of 80 pages and is coloured by a passive discontent.

  • Himu Ki Mahapurush?

    Himu has none of the intelligence or powers of deduction of Misir Ali. Himu says the wrong thing at the wrong time. He helps people, but only after causing undue chaos and misery.

  • How To Build A World For Persons With Disability

    Sarah Hendren’s What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World (Riverhead Books, 2020) is a collection of case stories in which she helps one understand the lives of those living with disabilities, and how able-bodied perceptions on assistive technology and prosthetics can fail in practice.

  • Revisiting ‘Talaash’ with Shaheen Akhtar and Seung Hee Jeon

    On November 1, 2020, author Shaheen Akhtar was awarded the 3rd Asian Literary Award for the Korean translation of her 2004 novel Talaash—which traces the lives of Birangona women decades after the 1971 Liberation War.

  • ‘Dhaka Sessions’ brings music to a bookstore

    Cramped amidst the rows and rows of books at Bookworm Bangladesh, performers, instruments, and cameras came together to produce music over the past few weeks. On Saturday, November 14, 2020, the first episode of Dhaka Sessions will be aired on YouTube, with the cult favourite band Nemesis as the first performers.

  • Of Love and Faith

    DS Books is excited to launch this new series comprising reviews of “light reads” which explore heavier, sensitive topics. In this first instalment, we look at a young adult romance novel that depicts the challenging experiences of adolescent Muslims.

  • When Empires Collide: China vs America

    “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made the war inevitable,” Thucydides wrote in The History of the Peloponnesian War.

  • In Search of A Suitable Adaptation

    I’ve long come to accept that there’s no such thing as a suitable adaption of a favourite book. Yet, when it was announced that Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy (1993), a novel I have loved through the decades, was going to be adapted by the BBC for a miniseries—and directed by Mira Nair, no less—I couldn’t help but feel hopeful about the possibilities. Could this really be… the one?

  • Wreetu’s Comic Book on Menstrual Health

    In 2016, while already involved in conducting school-wide workshops on the topic, Sharmin Kabir began to think of ways in which adolescents could be taught about menstrual health in a friendly manner. “What would the children be left with once the workshop was over and Sharmin and her team had left?” she wondered.

  • On stories of domestic violence

    Tahmima Anam’s play Shahrazad, written for UK-based arts organisation Komola Collective and live streamed on October 29, 2020, adopts the

  • Shaheen Akhtar wins Asian Literary Award 2020

    Bangladeshi author Shaheen Akhtar has been awarded the 3rd Asian Literary Award for her novel Talaash (Mowla Brothers, 2009), which depicts the lasting suffering of Birangona women—survivors of sexual violence during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

  • Last Night We Went to Manderley Again

    An adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca seemed especially well-timed, with its theme of imprisonment at home, as well as the timeless pull of social expectations on one’s identity.

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