Two books featuring women’s creative writing were jointly launched at Bengali Boi in Dhaka on December 28, 2019.
Jahanara Naushin’s The Woman Who Ate Cooking Pots, published by Bengal Publication, contains a selection of her short stories translated into English while the other book Gantha Miscellany, published by writers.ink, is the first book showcasing original pieces and translations by members of Gantha, a women’s writing group.
The launching program was moderated by eminent academic, writer and translator Niaz Zaman, who is also editor of both the books.
Prof Perween Hasan, vice chancellor of Central Women’s University, and Luva Nahid Choudhury, head of Bengal Publication, were present at the program.
In her speech, Choudhury said that the scene of Bangladeshi writing in English was gradually changing as more young writers and translators were emerging through publications like Six Seasons Review.
Prof Perween Hasan discussed different aspects of the two books. She praised the use of different literary devices in Jahanara Naushin’s narrative.
Congratulating the translators, she said, “It is very difficult to translate prose that contains culturally nuanced images but in these two books the translators have done a very good job.”
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune’s Arts & Letters about the books, Niaz Zaman said, “This is for female writers because they have a problem of not having the place and opportunity of adda. Men have so many avenues but women don’t. So I thought this would be a nice way of encouraging young women.”
In the concluding part of the event, Razia Sultana Khan, Jackie Kabir and Masrufa Ayesha Nusrat read out excerpts from translations of Naushin’s book while Jesmina Shanta Aksad recited two of her poems from Gantha Miscellany.
In Gantha Miscellany, writers whose pieces are featured include Anwara Syed Haq, Jackie Kabir, Jharna Das Purakayastha, Jharna Rahman, Selina Hossain, Niaz Zaman, Rizia Rahman, Shabnam Nadiya, Nasreen Jahan and Sabreena Ahmed. Translators include Niaz Zaman, Arunava Sinha, Zakeria Shirazi, Masrufa Ayesha Nusrat, Raina Moinuddin Abu Zafar, Shahrukh Rahman and Zakeria Shirazi.
Both the books are available at Bengal Boi in Dhaka.