In the journey of life, whenever people seek motivation to move ahead, they try to draw inspiration from those who are considered unprecedented in their own fields.
Biographies and autobiographies are a great way of getting to know more about visionary leaders and changemakers, and learning from their life stories.
This year's Ekushey book fair is offering booklovers the opportunity to see the world through these legends' eyes by reading books about their lives.
“A biography or memoir of a visionary is written from their real-life experiences. Their struggles and stories of how they overcame those hurdles help readers find inspiration when they go through difficult times in their own lives,” said Puspita Islam, a master's student at Bangladesh University of Business and Technology. She bought Nelson Mandela's “A Long Walk to Freedom.”
There are many fans of this literary form. Some enjoy reading about political leaders, while others admire entrepreneurs and changemakers.
Niloy Rahman, a private job holder who was looking for a biography of Steve Jobs said, “I have read autobiographies of different political leaders, now I want to know more about visionaries from other fields.”
Not only are adults getting a taste of this genre, children are also becoming familiar with it. Different publishers have biographies that cater to children.
Rabindranath Tagore's “Chelebela” and Golam Khurshid's “Choto Boro Sobar Michael Madhusudan Dutt” are from Oboshor publication and “Archimedes Theke Einstein” by Khorshida Khatun is from Student Ways publication.
Because of the demand for biographies, publishers have brought out translated books for readers. These include, Katherine Frank's “Indira”, Fidel Castro's “My Life: A Spoken Autobiography” translated by Hasan Bayzid, and “I Am Malala” translated by Sharfuddin Ahmed, from Anyadhara publication.
Besides, Ankur Prokashoni brought out biographies on noted personalities including Jawaharlal Nehru, Nelson Mandela, and Narendra Modi.
Besides translated books on a number of noted personalities from abroad, there are books on renowned personalities of Bangladesh as well.
“Bhasha Sangrami Mahbubul Alam Chowdhury” by Mamun Siddique, “Bir Sreshtha Shaheed Matiur Rahman” by Kazi Sazzad, and “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib: Jibon o Rajniti” edited by Monayem Sarker, have been published by Bangla Academy.
Social media sensation Hero Alam's “Dristibhongi Bodlan, Amra Samajke Bodle Debo” from Torofdar Publication is available at the fair.
Regarding the demand of biographies, Faruk Hossain, in-charge of Anyadhara publication, said, “There's definitely a demand for biographies, and especially young people buy this genre to enrich themselves.”