Book Reviews | The Daily Star
  • Truth Stranger than Fiction!

    Imagine a Japanese man in Dhaka in the first decade of the twentieth century bent on being employed in the town and ending up marrying a Bengali Brahmo woman, the daughter of a soap factory owner, who has offered him a job. Think of the woman later going to a village near Nagoya with her husband

  • It’s All Relative: Relative Truths

    However trite it may seem at first glance to call a book “It’s All Relative,” more layers are revealed on further examination of this collection of stories published by Bengal Publicationss. The title is perhaps an allusion to how stories bounce off each other, morphing into something different

  • A Bibliophile’s Review of Bargain Buys: The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot

    The Queen of detective fiction (1890-1976) was in 1971 bestowed the title - Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to literature by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As with the British reigning monarch, Agatha Christie’s reign continues uninterrupted.

  • Human, All too Human!

    For anyone harboring misgivings about Rabindranath Tagore but doing so with an open mind, as well as anyone who treasures his works but is realistic enough to know that though superhuman in some ways, he was human—all too human!—this is a must read book. Certainly, I found it unputdownable.

  • The Burden of Miracle in Poonachi: or the Story of a Black Goat

    Perumal Murugan, the Tamil writer who rose to fame with self-declaration of his death as an author following protests by the Right wing against his writing, has resurrected with a forceful new novel, Poonachi.

  • Azfar Hussain’s Dorshonakkhyan: Materialist Philosophy

    In Hegelian philosophy, the dialectical relation between appearance and reality is an important relationship. Marx brought this

  • An Anchorite’s Call to Reread Tagore

    Tagore is almost a century-old fixation with the Bengali-speaking world. A continual sprightly stream of books, writings and speeches

  • BANGABANDHU AND BANGLADESH: Correcting Contrives and Cunning Corridors

    Lamartine — that mediocre poet but cunning politician in France during the revolutions of 1848 — once remarked that history is a trick that we, the living, play upon the dead.

  • Ek Kishorir Juddhajatra : A Painful Tale Told Spontaneously

    It’s the tale of a teenage girl’s reminiscence of her journey from home country to a neighbouring country to take refuge during the devastating war of liberation in the year 1971, told by herself at the age of sixty.

  • Dreams & Shadows: Perspectives on Multifarious Issues

    “When white people commit acts of terrorism, we term them mentally ill. When governments commit acts of war and terrorism, we call it Foreign Policy. When a Muslim commits an act of terror, we call it terrorism.

  • Patna Blues: Travails of a Minority Community

    An enjoyable read, Abdullah Khan's debut novel, Patna Blues is a thought-provoking and moving work as well. It is a book mostly

  • History of Bangladesh: Early Bengal in Regional Perspectives- Vol. I and II

    History of Bangladesh: Early Bengal in Regional Perspectives (up to c. 1200 CE)- Vol. I & II, edited by renowned historians of ancient

  • CHINA RULING THE WAVES?

    Lieutenant General Mohammad Aminul Karim is no stranger to the sea. His latest book, Geopolitics of the South China Sea in the Coming Decades, continues a streak explaining why we must give ocean-based rivalry more currency. Yet again he applies the discipline of his military training to the International Relations discipline, leaving readers, as every scholarly book should, both inquisitive and enlightened.

  • Sustainable English language teacher development at scale: Lessons from Bangladesh

    Externally-funded English language projects of different stripes are an integral part of Bangladeshi education. These projects come

  • The Boat People: Safety and its Downsides

    In the face of dehumanizing discrimination, insurgency is important, but not when it deviates towards inhumanity from humanity,

  • Ottegsahon: Caress Of The Muse

    The adage goes that almost every Bengali is born with poetry in his/her heart. Note the word - almost! There exists, blissfully, exceptions to this byword. Happily,

  • Kaiser Haq Presents Shaheed Quaderi to the Anglophone Readers

    Professor Kaiser Haq is not only Bangladesh's finest English language poets but one of the country's best translators as well. He translated Shamsur Rahman as early as 1985, when he was in his mid-thirties.

  • THE OVER TAKERS: STORIES TO MULL OVER

    I was scratching my head as I completed reading the first story in Wasi Ahmed's anthology of short stories entitled The Over Takers. I was scratching my head when I had finished the eleventh tale, also the last in the engrossing volume.

  • Lore of the Woman: The Bird Catcher and Other Stories

    A reader can perhaps assume from the back flap of Fayeza Hasanat's debut collection of short stories that the pieces revolve around a woman's position in society, familial relationships and identity that is constructed for her.

  • Not a Review, but Words of Heart: On Nausheen Eusuf's Not Elegy, But Eros

    Life is an elegy, written by time. The instinct of life itself is elegiac, for it always reminds us of fragmentations and jouissance. Life reminds us of things that “are gone into a world of light,” (as Eusuf writes in her poem,

  • White Tears: A New Look on Life

    White Tears is the fifth novel of Hari Kunzru who is a promising writer of the time, easily distinguishable for his consummate writing skills and imaginative boldness.

  • A "Philosophical Worldview" in Nature and Life

    Doing 'deep ecology' by any academically trained philosopher might be daunting insofar as it involves the task of conceiving environmental crisis in philosophical terms.

  • Titans at the Early CanLit Boom

    When we are at the verge of the third decade of the twenty-first century, and watching about more than ten thousand books getting published every year in Canada, it seems somewhat unbelievable that during the fifties of the last century the picture of Canadian book publishing world was very poor.

  • Kom Chena Boro Manush: Abdul Quadir

    The grainy black-and-white photo, printed in a new book on the Rohingya crisis authored by Myanmar's army, shows a man standing over two bodies, wielding a farming tool. "Bengalis killed local ethnics brutally", reads the caption.

  • The Waterless Sea: A Curious History of Mirages

    Mesmerised within “zones of blindness and insight,” the British anthropologist, author and multiple temporalities enthusiast Christopher Pinney has emerged with perhaps the finest homage to evanescence yet written, The Waterless Sea: A Curious History of Mirages.

  • A Reader's Guide to Writers' Britain

    Awakening your wanderlust, in hand is the ultimate travel guidebook to Britain's rich literary heritage. Here, innumerable destinations feature multiple authors, landscapes and legendary characters that transport both the studious and the curious into unforgettable literary trails.

  • Arundhati Roy and Our Reality

    Some days ago, a friend of mine who stays abroad, sent me a gift. Since he is very special to me, I was extra-eager to open the box and find out what it was.

  • The Bones of Grace: Rewriting History

    Tahmima Anam attracted an international readership when her debut novel A Golden Age (2007) won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best First Book in 2008.

  • Poetry

    “How do I make you understand,

  • The Good Muslim: A Post-Liberation War Bangladesh

    “A novel asserts nothing; it provides a framework for thinking about things.” said Martin Amis, a British writer, in an interview with Rachel Cooke published in The Observer of 1 October 2006. Shortlisted for the 2013 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and long listed for the 2011 Man Asian Prize

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