Over the years, Annesha Prokashon has risen in rank, currently occupying a place as one of the top tier publishing houses in Bangladesh. Annesha is known for being one of the few publications that has extensively released books encompassing the Liberation War, Language Movement, and more along with poetry and novels. In a recent conversation with The Daily Star, Editor of the publishing house, Shahadat Hossain, speaks about the underlying issues within the publishing world, and more.
Why are there very few published volumes on the Language Movement?
Shahadat: That is because there are very few manuscripts regarding the subject. Publishers are always eager to get their hands on such works, but there are very few writers who have knowledge on this issue. We definitely need more research and discussions on the matter, without which it would be impossible to produce such writings.
Are readers interested in buying books on the Language Movement?
Shahadat: Readers have their own distinctive tastes, and no one sticks to reading a particular subject. However, younger readers are seeking it out more.
What volumes on this subject have been published by Annesha?
Shahadat: So far, we have published one large volume on the subject, but we are looking forward to do more. As I have stated before, scarcity of manuscripts on the Language Movement has made the task more challenging.
What books are being received well by readers at the fair so far?
Shahadat: We have released 50 books so far, and this year's most popular read is “Dhanmondi 32” by Shams Syed. We have been publishing a Bangla Academy award-winning volume about biranganas by Shurma Zahid for a few years now, and it has made another comeback in our stalls. A biography on Shah Abdul Karim is also in demand.
To what extent has Ekushey Boi Mela contributed in creating more readers?
Shahadat: We, the publishers, are extremely indebted towards the government for creating such a wonderful initiative that has fortunately become an annual tradition. The Ekushey Boi Mela has been introducing new books towards readers, and creates more readers every year. It makes me even happier to see that the book fair has been given larger grounds, and allowing it to create a bigger impact than before.