Book Reviews | The Daily Star
  • An intellectual at his finest

    Aaj O Agamikaal: Nirbachito Shakkhatkar (Daily Star Books, 2020) by Professor Serajul Islam Choudhury and edited by Emran Mahfuz, a young


    Social media brimmed with photos and stories of dads for Father's Day this past Sunday, June 21. But who were some of the fathers we have loved reading in books? The DS Books team chimed in with their favourites.



  • Alex Vitale’s book asks: why do we need the police?

    In The End of Policing (2017), professor of sociology Alex S Vitale journeys back to its origins to remind us that the idea behind the creation of the first police force in 1829 England was not so much to fight crime, but to “manage disorder and protect the propertied classes from the rabble.”

  • Notes on a shared history

    In the weeks following George Floyd’s death—murdered in Minneapolis by a police officer who knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds—the conversation around diversity and inclusion has returned to the forefront,

  • ‘Masud Rana’goes to court

    Among the most iconic characters of popular Bangla literature, Masud Rana’s name is synonymous with that of its author, Kazi Anwar Hossain.

  • Wild Wild East

    In the 1950s, giddy with the glory of a blood-soaked independence, Bollywood churned out films that were high on “Nehruvian nationalism”.

  • Risky Business: The Company that never left

    The book starts with the origin of the word loot, a slang word for plunder. It was imported into the English language while the East India Company and its officers pillaged—for more than 100 years—Bengal, Mysore,

  • Isolation is personal and political in Olivia Laing’s ‘The Lonely City’

    Ever since social isolation began in an attempt to contain the Corona virus, the internet has flooded with references to the American realist painter Edward Hopper, especially his iconic work, ‘Nighthawks’ (1942).

  • The absence of climate change in fiction and other great derangements

    I was first introduced to Amitav Ghosh while gulping down The Hungry Tide as a freshman Environmental Science student. In that book, Ghosh navigates the Indian side of the Sundarbans, its politics, its histories, and its people.

  • Editor’s Note

    Two kinds of spaces are shrinking around us as we speak—one for books and creativity, as it starves from a lack of revenues, and another for our physical existence in the public sphere, caused by the coronavirus.

  • Original vs Derivative: Reading Syed Shamsul Haque’s Ballad of Our Hero Bangabandhu in Translation

    To aptly celebrate the Birth-Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, one initiative, among others, by Bangla Academy has been to publish Syed Shamsul Haque’s Ballad of our Hero Bangabandhu, together with its translation in English, as part of its grand project named “Birth-Centenary Publications of the Father of the Nation Bangabadhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

  • Language Attitude Anxiety and Remedial Propositions: A New Approach to ELT

    Asantha U Attanayake’s first exchanges with me were over e-mail. She was travelling across the Subcontinent to collect and develop materials for her forthcoming book.


    Rashida Sultana’s much-admired novel, Shada Beralera has been translated into English as The White Cats, recently.

  • History Animated through Words

    No matter Lawrence Durrel defines history as “an endless repetition of the wrong way of living,” we must study it closely for gaining insights into our very own existence and setting our future course of actions.

  • Sweet Dreams and Distressing Nightmares

    Those haunting lyrics of the British band Eurythmics, “Sweet dreams are made of this…”, followed intermittently by “…everybody is looking for something…”, and “…some of them want to use you…” fairly accurately encapsulate the theme of the dozen short stories that make up Rummana Chowdhury’s slim volume,

  • An Afternoon on Syed Manzoorul Islam’s Absurd Night

    An interesting event of launching the revised translation of Syed Manzoorul Islam’s novel Ajgubi Raat took place on Saturday, February

  • New Books: Ekushey Boi Mela, 2020

    The poems in this collection explore issues plaguing the world right now—poverty, class inequality, climate crisis, warfare and

  • NEW from The Daily Star Books

    The book comprises a curated collection of essays written by Professor Fakrul Alam on various occasions for The Daily Star, starting from 1999 until now.

  • New Books

    Dakkhin Asiar Diaspora Shahitya: Itihash, Tatta o Shongkot: A Book on South Asian Diaspora by Mojaffor Hossain

  • Of Myths, Migrants and Misconceptions: A Personal Essay on Charges

    The Reading Circle (TRC) a book club in Dhaka, started the new year with a Literary Encounter at the Goethe Institut onSaturday, January 4. The book for discussion was Charges by Elfriede Jelinek.

  • A Glimpse of the Istanbul We Don’t Know

    There is a difference between being hooked “from” the start of a book and being hooked “by” the start of it. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World—Elif Shafak’s 11th novel—does the latter.

  • Wild Boars, Flies, Love, Loss, Identity: Wild Boar in the Cane Field

    The aforementioned line rises to utmost significance once the novel reaches its end. It would be better to leave this explanation untouched in the review for the readers’ sake.

  • The Word

    I like the idea of that lurking uncertainty in the background. It is the anticipation of what is to come feels exciting. And now here I am facing that uncertainty.

  • On Writer’s Block

    Fairly recently, I was working with two of my colleagues here in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to propose a panel for a conference in North America.

  • Marriage Story: A Dead Marriage and Vulture Lawyers

    The title of Noah Baumbach’s 2019 movie Marriage Story is perhaps ironic and misleading.

  • A Befitting Centenary Tribute to a Major Poet of Our Subcontinent

    If people in Bangladesh remember Kaifi Azmi (1919-2002) now, it is either because of the famous songs he wrote for popular Hindu films such as Kagaz Ke Phool (1959), Pakeezah (1972) and Aarth (1982), or because he is the father of the celebrated actress-activist and member of the Indian Rajya Sabha, Shabana Azmi.

  • On DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019

    The DSC Prize celebrating the rich and varied world literature in South Asia 2019 had announced its longlist on September 26, 2019 evening at the Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi.

  • Recalling Times Past

    Ahh! Yours truly was positively ecstatic as he rapidly flipped through the two hundred-odd pages of Curtain Call: English Language Plays in Dhaka 1950-1970, written by the brother-sister duo of Raza Ali and Niaz Zaman.

  • Shakespearewallah: From Bengal to Belfast

    Here we are on the Irish border for Hallowe’en, originally a Celtic festival designed to propitiate the ghosts of the dead.