From The City And Beyond

Munira Fidai curates intriguing reads from Bengal Publications

Munize Manzur

A collection of short stories for the Bengali heart, Voices speaks in a language which appeals to the common man in Bangladesh. Untold emotions like love, triumph, bitter defeat, fear and sorrow are all captured in this book. Teacher by day and writer at heart, Munize Manzur captures the entire spectrum- from the essence of youth to the shock of betrayal, to the trivialities of draping a sari. These are stories told with a silent subtext, almost always with an implication of something unwritten. The language flows easily throughout the book while the stories take you to different levels of highs and lows, creating a beautiful harmony of literary delight for the reader. From the viewpoint of a hurt child, to the silent rage for a parent, to the shock of hearing from an old lover, to having the tables of success turn on you, there is something in it for everybody. Munize Manzur has a knack for hooking the reader to her words with the very first line, dripping with warmth and a keen philosophical understanding of her readers. If your heart needs some good lines to chomp on, here’s one book that’ll not disappoint.

Piazza Bangladesh
Neeman Sobhan
Piazza Bangladesh

This book is a concoction of delightful short stories for the Bengalis who live away from their land. Set in diverse locations like the dirty backstreets of Rome, the contemporary suburbs of America and pre and post war time of West and East Pakistan. The stories depict emotions that run deep and strong; Neeman Sobhan’s take on separation, longing, sorrow, envy, loss and regrets strike a mellow chord and tugs at heartstrings. Some stories have borrowed characters to give a flow and sense of similarity, as if the snippets are part of a large family or a private world. The language, interspersed with words in Bengali, add more charm to the already descriptive narration of the gifted author, providing a heady sense of familiarity and identification with the characters. The words flow as free as feelings in this solemn book that’s meant for those who like their literature with a personal touch.

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