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Amar Ekushey Book Fair: Humayun Ahmed still main attraction for book lovers

  • Published at 09:28 pm February 11th, 2019
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Photo shows enthusiast readers buying books of Humayun Ahmed from a stall in Amar Ekushey Book Fair on Monday; February 11, 2019 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The books Humayun Ahmed wrote towards the end of his life are in particularly high demand

Although seven years have passed since the death of popular fiction writer Humayun Ahmed, his books remain the top sellers at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.

The books Humayun Ahmed wrote towards the end of his life are in particularly high demand, according to publishers at the fair.

They added that “Deyal,” the last book written by Humayun Ahmed published before his death, was their all-time best seller.

A number of enthusiastic fans visited the fair dressed as famous characters from his novels. Misir Ali and Himu are among the favourites for the youth.

Fan Himanto Sami told the Dhaka Tribune: “In his writings, we could see our dreams. I visit the book fair at least once a year out of love for his writing. Every year since his death, I have gifted one of his books to a friend. This is how I remember him.”

Rahena Khan said: “Many of my university friends tease me, calling me Himu’s lover, because I love wearing blue sharis on all occasions. This year, I bought Humayun Ahmed’s book ‘Lilabotir Mrityu,’ which was published from his manuscripts after his death.”

The stall of Anya Prokash, which published most of Humayun Ahmed’s books, was popular among his fans. The publisher has prepared two special compilations of his stories specifically for this year’s fair, which are set to be available within two days, Anya Prokash Public Relations Officer Alauddin Tipu said.

Besides “Deyal”, “Lilabotir Mrityu”, “Misir Ali”, and the Himu series, books written by Humayun Ahmed in high demand at the fair include “Jochna O Jononir Golpo”, “Shankhoneel Karagar”, “Matal Haowa”, “Nirbachito Bhooter Golpo”, “Opekkha”, “Onyo Bhubon”, “Amar Ache Jol”, “Ami Ebong Amra”, “Asmanira Tin Bon”, “Brishti Bilash”, “Ekjon Mayabati”, and “Tara Tin Jon.”

Meanwhile, publishing house Kakoli Prokashoni will be bringing a compilation titled “Ei Nogore Himu” to the fair, while Anupom Prokashoni will bring a compilation titled “Sreshtho Bhoot.”

Kakoli Prokashoni Sales Executive Enamul Haq Shahid said 50% of the books they have sold at the fair so far are by Humayun Ahmed.

Born in 1948, Humayun Ahmed authored over 200 books, many of which were best sellers, while eight were made into films. He was not only a writer, but a dramatist, screenwriter, film-maker, song writer, scholar, and lecturer as well. He won the Bangla Academy Award in 1981, Ekushey Padak in 1994, and three National Film Awards. He passed away in 2012 after a nine-month battle against colon cancer.

A total of 1,531 new titles have been released in the first 11 days of this year’s Amar Ekushey Book Fair, including 229 novels, 396 poetry compilations, 220 short stories, and 80 essay books.

Furthermore, Bangla Academy is exhibiting 102 newly printed and reprinted books this year.

According to Bangla Academy, their books are being sold at a 25% discount, while bKash is offering 7% cash back on payments made through their payment services.

A discussion titled “Publication sector of Bangladesh: Past and present” was organized on the 11th day of the fair on Monday, followed by a cultural program.

Mahrukh Mohiuddin delivered the keynote speech, while Sudhanshu Dey, Tribid Chattapadhay, Mohammad Ishtiaq Hossain, and Farid Ahmed attended the discussion session chaired by poet and Dhaka University Pro-Vice Chancellor Muhammad Samad.