Though the universe of literature was once dominated by male authors, their female counterparts are breaking the barrier by showing their extraordinary literary prowess.
The presence of female authors could be seen in this year's Amar Ekushey Granthamela too. The number might be smaller compared to the male authors, but it is surely an upward trend.
“Today's women are not only busy taking care of their families, they are also working. In addition, they have to make time for writing,” said author Nasima Anis.
Nasima, a school teacher, loves to write stories. Her short story collection, “Dub Satar” hit the book fair this year, published by Bateshwar Bornon publication. She has published a total of 13 books so far.
The number of female writers is increasing, she said. “But, we need proper promotion and marketing. Publishers have to come forward in this regard. They can promote us during the book fair.”
Writer Salma Siddika echoed her.
“The book fair is a perfect opportunity for any writer to reach a larger audience. It will be possible, if publishers are willing to promote a writer,” she said. She published a collection of short stories, “Golpota Kalponik” from Jagriti publication.
However, many of the writers feel that they should not be tagged as a “women writers”.
“A writer is a writer,” said Sadia Sultana. “An author should be identified through her or his works, not gender.”
She stressed the need for quality writings in order to get recognised.
“At times, writing might seem like a challenge for a woman as she has to maintain family and work. There are only a handful of writers who could take up writing as an only profession,” said the government service holder.
Her third novel, “Ami Adhare Thaki”, hit the book fair this year, published by Chaitanya publication.
Readers, however, said they mostly prefer books written by well-known writers. When the publishers suggest them any new writer, they sometimes try out the writings.
Some of them also said there are not that many books written by women writers at the book fair.
“I used to read novels by Selina Hossain. These days, it gets hard to know for sure which new writer to try,” said Mohammed Nafis, a private firm employee.
Joynal Abedin, a physician at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, who came to visit the book fair with his wife yesterday, said when it comes to reading a book, it's the story that matters the most.
When asked, many of the publishers said they do not get that many scripts from women writers.
“It's all about attracting the readers. When we get a good script, we publish it…,” said Mustafa Salim, proprietor and CEO of Utso Prokash.
Quite a few of the publishing houses are selling books written by female authors. Kajol Sahnewaz's “Kobita Samagro” and “Golpo Samagro”, Nasreen Jahan's “Srestha Golpo” and Moshahida Sultana Hritu's “Boro Shohorer Chhoto Golpo” are drawing reader's attention at Agamee Prokashani.
Besides, “Dikhondito Sotta” by Dipannita Roy, “Sangbadpotrey 17 Bochhor” by Sanzida Sultana and “Rajkonyader Golpo” by Dipannita Gayen are the popular choice at Utso Prokashan.
In addition, Anindya Prokash is also showcasing “Birangona Samagro (volume 1-4)” and “Amra Juddho Shishu” by Surma Zahid and “Shesh Drishwa” by Rashida Begum.
Yesterday, 266 new books arrived.
DAILY STAR BOOKS
The 23rd day of the book fair being a holiday, visitors thronged Daily Star Books to satisfy their literary cravings.
“Booklovers were looking for books on the Liberation War…,” said Mirazul Islam of the stall.
“Nirbachito Golpo” by Abul Hayat, “Abul Mansur Ahmad er Srestha Golpo” edited by Dr Nurul Amin, “40 years of Bangladesh Way Forward”, and Tahmima Anam's “A Golden Age” and its translation “Sonajhora Din” are the most sought-after books at the stall.
“40 years of Bangladesh Way Forward”, has been published in three volumes. It is a 500-page special supplement collection of The Daily Star (mid March to early April, 2011). Shah Husain Imam is the compilation editor.