September 29, 2023


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Book Review: The Demoness: The Best Bangladeshi Stories (Selected & Edited by Niaz Zaman)

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Namrata reviews The Demoness: The Best Bangladeshi Stories- Selected and Edited by Niaz Zaman (Published by Aleph Book Company, 2021) and emphasizes how these stories are an immaculate reflection of all that encapsulates Bangladesh.

  • Published by: Aleph Book Company
  • Year of Publishing: March 2021
  • Price: INR 799/-

The Demoness, as the title suggests is a collection of the best Bangladeshi stories written by various authors and poets. As we know, Bangladeshi is not a language and hence these stories are not translated works originally written in Bangladeshi. But this collection definitely captures the best of Bangladeshi literature possible. Ranging from stalwarts like Kazi Nazrul, Shawkat Ali to Anwara Syed Haq, Jharna Das Purkayastha and Akhtaruzzaman Elias- these stories are strung together brilliantly to create a captivating read.

In the words of Niaz Zaman, the editor of this collection:

“’ Bangladeshi Stories’ refers to stories written in a political and linguistic space. It refers to Bengali short stories written by persons associated with the land that gained its independence from Pakistan in 1971 and came to be known as Bangladesh. They are not all contemporary stories written post-1971, but predate the creation of Bangladesh.”

(Source: Introduction, Pg. vii)

After having retired as a Professor of English at the University of Dhaka, Niaz Zaman is currently the Advisor-Department of English, Independent University, Bangladesh. She has written across genres ranging from non-fiction to fiction which includes both short stories and novels. She has also translated a lot of works and in 2016, was conferred with the prestigious Bangla Academy Award for Translation. She had also won the Anannya Sahitya Puruskar in 2013 followed by the Lekhika Sangha Award in 2015.

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