April 15, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Black Coat: The strangest English novel to come out of Bangladesh

1 min read

the black coatA powerful fictional revisiting of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s troubled legacy in Bangladesh

This is probably the strangest English novel to come out of Bangladesh—one that employs a dispassionate, journalistic voice telling an utterly surreal story to convey the anger and pain that the betrayal of hopes leads to. Bangladeshi-Canadian writer Neamat Imam turns the horrifying reality of the famine that followed the country’s independence from Pakistan—which all but undid the expectations that freedom had brought with it—into an absurdist theatre of the privileged and the victims. In the process, he also challenges the notion of the golden age that prevailed for at least one generation in Bangladesh about the independence of the country in 1971 and its aftermath.

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