Book Reviews | The Daily Star
  • The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire

    Here is a door stopper for the lingering period of hibernation. All 522 pages provide ample literary support for long-term homebound inmates.

  • Women in publishing

    The publishing and literary world in Bangladesh have considerable visibility of women: some are authoritative figures in the literary and academic world, some run their own establishments and bookshops; others occupy senior positions in many of the local publishing houses and literary committees. However, like the systems and society we currently operate in, this industry is also influenced by the larger patriarchal structure.

  • The case of the missing girl: Where are we in Bangla children’s literature?

    It wasn’t until my 20s that I realised I had read less than 10 Bengali women authors in my childhood and adolescence.

  • Five novels with strong women protagonists

    Hellfire is at once a book about patriarchy and the toxic strand of matriarchy that supports it. Through the lives of sisters Lovely and Beauty, both kept from socialisation and even attending school deep into middle age, the novel captures near perfectly the convoluted blueprint of life for South Asian women.

  • Is science fiction really not a woman’s genre?

    Last week, I decided to pen a tribute to my favourite authors of science fiction, a love letter, really, that has long been in the pipeline.

  • Once More Into the Past: Essays, Personal, Public, and Literary

    “How does Tagore intoxicate a growing young man . . . .? How has Dhaka transitioned through the Partition of Bengal and the birth of the University of Dhaka? . . . . how does one remember-- with nuance, with style-- icons of history and culture . . . .?”

  • What does it take to build a business empire?

    Binod K Chaudhary, the chairman of the CG Corp Global conglomerate group, is Nepal’s first billionaire and possibly the most successful industrialist in his nation.

  • Bill Gates’ blueprint for a greener planet

    Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and the world’s fourth-wealthiest person, has written a new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (Knopf, 2021) in which he cites the looming catastrophe of radical global climate change and sets out an incredibly ambitious goal that he argues is the only possible path for our species’ survival: achieving zero.

  • Night has brought him something worse: 2021’s first must-read

    “The thing was that everyone knew Julita’s parents hadn’t died in any accident: Julita’s folks had disappeared. They were disappeared. They’d been disappeared”.

  • Translation with a Midas touch

    Abdus Selim, a noted Bangladeshi translator, playwright, essayist and educationist, has, of late, come up with a collection of five plays in Bangla translation titled Panch Manchanubad (Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, 2021).

  • Conservation through literature

    The River Tales (2021) is a series of graphic novels for children, commissioned by Asia Foundation’s ‘Let’s Read Asia’ digital library project and produced by HerStory Foundation in an effort to raise awareness about Bangladesh’s heritage and culture. Sarah Anjum Bari, editor of Star Books, speaks to Katerina Don, curator at HerStory Foundation, writer Anita Amreen, and artist Sayeef Mahmud about their processes of research, writing, and graphic designing for the series.

  • Together against the catastrophe

    The 156-page hardback edition will be available in Bangla, English, and German.

  • ‘Tumi Kon Gogoner Tara’: In remembrance of a mother

    A solemn tribute to mothers and to our nation’s unrelenting humanity, Hussain’s novel shows us the people and the Bangladesh we could more often be.

  • Boibondhu book exchange festival takes place at Rabindra Sarobar

    The event witnessed participation from people of all ages, from toddlers to adults.

  • In death, he became visible

    Vivek Oji, the titular character in Akwaeke Emezi’s second novel, is dead; this is stated in the title, the first line, and throughout the book. However, in every chapter, Vivek keeps coming alive, images of him rising out of the text’s surface only to dissolve again.

  • Serajul Islam Chowdhury speaks about the state of Bangla education

    Language and education are prime markers in identifying one’s participation in society and politics. Having just commemorated the International Mother Language Day on February 21, that too on the verge of our nation’s silver jubilee, it is perhaps a unique opportunity for us to question, reflect, and make changes to our politics on language, education, and social identities.

  • Prelude to a national disintegration

    After half a century from where we began, Daily Star Books will spend all of this year—the 50th year of Bangladesh—revisiting, celebrating, and analyzing some of the books that played pivotal roles in documenting the Liberation War of 1971 and the birth of this nation.

  • The spirit of sharing defines the end of February 2021

    In this last week of February, a shared sense of optimism, however cautious, is pervading much of the world and indeed our own. Slowly, and now safely, more and more events and programmes are opening their doors. Book enthusiasts can enjoy the following events this week:

  • Tahmima Anam, Monica Ali, Leesa Gazi, and Nasima Bee discuss ‘Sultana’s Dream’ for The British Library

    On February 22, 2021, The British Library hosted “Sultana’s Dream: Contemporary Fiction of Bangladeshi Origin”, a free virtual session on Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s feminist utopian novella.

  • Lyricist Gazi Mazharul Anwar launches book, ‘Olpo Kothar Golpo Gaan’

    Olpo Kothar Golpo Gaan includes 200 of these iconic songs.

  • Sister Library participants read Ferdousi Priyabashini’s ‘Nindito Nondon’

    Fuleshwary Priyanandini recounted the stories she was told by her mother.

  • Razia Khan: Life and Literature Archived

    For anyone looking to immerse themself in the literary culture of Bangladesh, Professor Razia Khan Amin’s name and presence are unavoidable.

  • The (D)Evolution of the Paranoid Android

    To write of Radiohead’s 2000 album Kid A is to add to the palimpsest of its criticism, at this stage a glowing, impossibly effusive set of texts.

  • Where folktales meet social commentary

    I stumbled across a short story written by Aoko Matsuda called “Quite a Catch” in the Wasafiri literary magazine last month.

  • Hope springs eternal

    The natural and political world bloom to life in the pages of Ali Smith’s Spring (Penguin Random House, 2019), the brilliant third installment in her seasonal quartet of books.

  • YA Books to Read on Valentine’s Day

    Be it the classical enemies-to-lovers trope, the fake dating trope or the infamous, and endlessly intoxicating, love triangle, the stories below have covered it all.

  • The Reading Café opens a new branch in Banani

    Popular manga, biographies, children’s books, and latest international releases across genres are expected to become available at the store within two weeks of publication.

  • The Code Name for a Bloodstained Era

    Vincent Bevins is an award-winning journalist who covered Southeast Asia and Brazil for the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times respectively.

  • The Glamour and Darkness of the Spanish Dictatorship

    Ruta Sepetys’s The Fountains of Silence (Penguin Books, 2019) takes place in the 1950s, in a Spain reigned by fear and stifling laws, caught between the dichotomy of non-existent human rights on the one side, and a flourishing tourist scene and wealthy visitors wooed by the national regime on the other.

  • For the love of books

    Similar to the mimicry of life by art, sometimes a book in our hands can acutely imitate the arcs of the love story we are in, ourselves—like the time a ghost lover stole a paperback Frankenstein from the neighborhood café as a last minute birthday gift for me, while our alliance reeked of haunted loneliness and painful assertions, or when one of my friends, a doctor by day and an avid reader by night, spoke about his first encounter with Harry Potter and the “cute, sweet girl across the hall.”