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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh's Shaheen Akhtar gets Asian Literary Award 2020

The novel paints a picture of the suffering of Birangona women – survivors of sexual violence during the Liberation War of Bangladesh

Update : 04 Nov 2020, 11:18 PM

Bangladesh's Shaheen Akhtar has won the 3rd Asian Literary Award for her novel "Talaash."

The novel paints a picture of the suffering of Birangona women – survivors of sexual violence during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

The award was announced on November 1 at the Asian Literature Festival 2020.

"Imperialism and colonialism, war and violence, the deceptions of war criminals, mistreatment of independence fighters, and ongoing ill-treatment of rape victims are all interwoven in the narrative of the novel," Kim Nam-il, novelist and award committee chair, said.

Kim Nam-il compared "Talaash" with Svetlana Alexievich's "The Unwomanly Face of the War," calling it "one of the greatest feminist anti-war docu-novels of our time."

The chair said: "The novel's protagonist, Maryam, who finds herself caught in the snare of dualities, enters another world in which she and a companion enjoy the camaraderie of fellow Birangonas, holds its own as one of the most sublime scenes in contemporary literature."

Mowla Brothers published "Talaash" in 2009.

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