The Book of Dhaka
Dhaka may be one of the most densely populated cities in the world - noisy, grid-locked, short on public amenities, and blighted with sprawling slums - but, as these stories show, it is also one of the most colourful and chaotically joyful places you could possibly call home. Slum kids and film stars, day-dreaming rich boys, gangsters and former freedom fighters all rub shoulders in these streets, often with Dhaka's famous rickshaws ferrying them to and fro across cultural, economic and ethnic divides.
Just like Dhaka itself, these stories thrive on the rich interplay between folk culture and high art; they both cherish and lampoon the city's great tradition of political protest, and they pay tribute to a nation that was borne out of a love of language, one language in particular, Bangla (from which all these stories have been translated).
Read editor Pushpita Alam's guest blog posts talking about the city that inspired the collection, Dhaka, and the creation of the anthology on the Comma Press Blog (www.thecommapressblog.wordpress.com)
Watch Arunava Sinha, Kaiser Haq, Pushpita Alam, and Syed Manzoorul Islam discuss the Book of Dhaka with Daniel Hahn at Dhaka Lit Fest 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nlps9jBkSA)
One of World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2016
"Comma Press's 'Reading the City' series is a revelation - and The Book of Dhaka in particular is an eye-opener" - author, Ian Sansom
"No shortage of talent in this short story collection. It should be read as a tribute to writers who do not always have the freedoms that we take for granted." - Bookmunch
"The Book of Dhaka shows us a city full of vitality and hope whilst expertly contrasting this with tones of desperation, portraying a mixture of emotions which emanates from within the city." - The Mancunion
"This is a Dhaka seen through the fictional lens of writers who have lived through the city’s ugliness as well as its sheer beauties. ...This book stands to reason that collaborative efforts can actually make a difference and bridge the gap between cultures and languages, between the east and the west" - The Dhaka Tribune
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- 27 Sep 2016