July’s ULAB Literary Salon discusses Bangladeshi short stories

Photos: Sheikh Mohammad Shihab/ University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh ULAB)

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Photos: Sheikh Mohammad Shihab/ University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh ULAB)

“Our lives have been compromised [by] short story”, said writer and editor Rifat Munim at the third ULAB Literary Salon, organized by the Department of English Language and Humanities, ULAB, on July 23, 2022 at the auditorium of ULAB Research Building at their Dhanmondi campus.

This month’s Lit Salon theme is, “An Evening in the Cloud of Bangladesh’s Favorite Literary Passion: Short Stories”. The event was joined by Rifat Munim, the new editor of Commonwealth Writers’ adda Speak OUT! Issue 4 and First Edition Editor at Dhaka Tribuneand Sohana Manzoor, Story Editor at The Star of the Sun and Professor of English, ULAB in conversation with Kaiser Haq, renowned poet, translator, lecturer and Professor of English, ULAB, and Sudeep Chakravarti, author, historian, and Visiting Professor, ULAB. Edited by Sarah Anjum Bari, Editor of Daily Star Books and Adjunct Lecturer, ULAB.In the Mango Blossom (Nymphea Publications), edited by scholar, translator and editor Niaz Zaman, Our greatest desire (Dhauli Books) edited by Sohana Manzoor, a Gold: Bangladesh at 50 (UPL), edited by author Shazia Omar. The audience was joined, among others, by Ameena Ahmed, renowned Rabindra sangeet singer and member of the ULAB Board of Trustees, and Professor Shamsad Mortuza, Pro VC of ULAB, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, and author at The Star of the Sun.

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“It’s easy to publish a short story… Most of the stories published today in Bangladesh are long stories, novellas”, says Kaiser Haq, explaining the way of life in Bangladesh—its cultures and its historical events—are relevant to the people. short story genre. Rifat Munim reminisces about his days growing up in the suburbs—experiences that are easy to convey through short stories. Professor Haq added that today, the people of Dhaka are closely related to their villages.

Sarah Anjum Bari, who reviewed both gold a Our greatest desire because The Star of the Sun, shows the different tone of each book. Gold is lighter and funnier and bolder in his choice of subjects. Our greatest desire An important story, with Sohana Manzoor’s selection of stories about the diaspora and marginalized communities. When the Mango Blooms it is the most ambitious in its scope, featuring 50 short stories from the country’s most famous authors and translators.

A discussion about translations has been opened. Professor Kaiser Haq highlighted the importance of accurately translating the nuances of the Bangla language and culture into English, and the lack of funding for well-trained translators. Speaking from the crowd, Arifa Ghani Rahman, one of the translators featured in two books and head of the Department of English and Humanities at ULAB, stressed the importance of knowledge suitable for translations. Editors of anthologies can play a big role in improving this situation, he said.

Audiences flock to books at the Bookworm Bangladesh store.

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Audiences flock to books at the Bookworm Bangladesh store.

The event included readings from three books—by Arifa Ghani Rahman, Salahdin Imam, Sehri Tales– founder Sabrina Fatma Ahmad, and Nahyan Ameen. The evening concluded with the awarding of certificates to the participants of the 4th Creative Writing Certificate Course offered by the Department of English and Humanities, ULAB.

ULAB Literary Salon is the first literary forum in Dhaka that seeks to bring together writers, readers and publishers from Bangladesh and other parts of South Asia in an informal setting. Once a month, it offers the literary opinion of Dhaka on a Saturday evening of book discussions and buying books at affordable prices by Bookworm Bangladesh and ULAB Press, partners of ULAB Lit Salon .

Sudeep Chakravarti, co-organizer of the ULAB Lit Salon, announced that India’s Partition, its independence from the British Raj, and its impact on Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan will be the topic for the 4th Lit Salon on August 13, 2022. More updates are available on the ULAB Literary Salon Facebook and Instagram pages.

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