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LIFE AND POLITICAL REALITY: Two Novellas

Born in 1953 in Old Dhaka, Shahidul Zahir died young and published only six works in his lifetime — but these are some of the most unique and powerful works of fiction to have come out of the subcontinent. With his own particular blend of surrealism, folklore, oral storytelling traditions, magic realism, a searing understanding of social and political reality, and rare clarity of vision, he forged a truly extraordinary voice.

Life and Political Reality is the work that established his reputation and granted him cult status in Bangladesh. It examines the 1971 war and its aftermath — a treatise on liberation, and the destruction of the idealism and spirit of post-war Bangladesh, told in a single corrosive, stream-of-consciousness paragraph. Abu Ibrahim’s Death is a quieter companion novella, and one that is equally concerned with idealism and compromise, as it studies with deep empathy and nuance the fall of its titular protagonist.

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Weight .106 kg
Dimensions 5.7 × 9.3 × 1 in
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About The Author

Shahidul Zahir, V. Ramaswamy, Shahroza Nahrin

Shahidul Zahir (1953–2008) completed his post-graduation at the University of Dhaka and the American University, Washington D.C., and joined the civil services in Bangladesh. He is best known for his novella, Jibon O Rajnoitik Bastobota (1987). Shahidul Zahir's oeuvre includes the short story collections Parapar (1985), Dumurkheko Manush O Onyanno Golpo (2000), and Dolu Nodir Haowa O Onyanno Golpo (2004), the novels Shey Raate Purnima Chhilo (1995) and Mukher Dike Dekhi (2006), and the novella Abu Ibrahimer Mrityu (2009).

V. Ramaswamy has translated Subimal Misra's The Golden Gandhi Statue from America: Early Stories, Wild Animals Prohibited: Stories, Anti-Stories, and This Could Have Become Ramayan Chamar's Tale: Two Anti-Novels. His translation of The Runaway Boy by Manoranjan Byapari was published in 2020.

Shahroza Nahrin is currently pursuing a graduate degree at McGill University, Canada. Her translations include works by Shahidul Zahir and Anwara Syed Haq.

শহীদুল জহির [১৯৫৩-২০০৮]

শহীদুল জহিরের জন্ম ঢাকায় নারিন্দার ভূতের গলিতে। তাঁর গ্রামের বাড়ি সিরাজগঞ্জ জেলায়। তিনি ঢাকা, ময়মনসিংহ এবং চট্টগ্রামের বিভিন্ন স্কুল, ঢাকা কলেজ, ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়, ওয়াশিংটন ডিসির দি আমেরিকান ইউনিভার্সিটি এবং কিছুদিন বার্মিংহাম ইউনিভার্সিটিতে লেখাপড়া করেন। পেশা তিনি সরকারের উচ্চপদস্থ কর্মকর্তা ছিলেন।

তাঁর প্রকাশিত উল্লেখযোগ্য গ্রন্থ :
পারাপার (১৯৮৫)
জীবন ও রাজনৈতিক বাস্তবতা (ফাল্গুন ১৩৯৪)
সে রাতে পূর্ণিমা ছিল (ফেব্রæয়ারি ১৯৯৫)
ডুমুরখেকো মানুষ ও অন্যান্য গল্প (১৯৯৯)
মুখের দিকে দেখি (২০০৬)
আবু ইব্রাহীমের মৃত্যু (২০০৯)
ডলু নদীর হাওয়া ও অন্যান্য গল্প (২০০৪)
শহীদুল জহির নির্বাচিত উপন্যাস (২০০৭)
শহীদুল জহির নির্বাচিত গল্প (২০০৬)

তিনি জীবদ্দশায় আলাওল সাহিত্য পুরস্কার, আজকের কাগজ সাহিত্য পুরস্কার এবং প্রথম আলো বর্ষসেরা সাহিত্য পুরস্কার (মরণোত্তর) অর্জন করেছেন।

Born in 1953 in Old Dhaka, Shahidul Zahir died young and published only six works in his lifetime — but these are some of the most unique and powerful works of fiction to have come out of the subcontinent. With his own particular blend of surrealism, folklore, oral storytelling traditions, magic realism, a searing understanding of social and political reality, and rare clarity of vision, he forged a truly extraordinary voice.

Life and Political Reality is the work that established his reputation and granted him cult status in Bangladesh. It examines the 1971 war and its aftermath — a treatise on liberation, and the destruction of the idealism and spirit of post-war Bangladesh, told in a single corrosive, stream-of-consciousness paragraph. Abu Ibrahim’s Death is a quieter companion novella, and one that is equally concerned with idealism and compromise, as it studies with deep empathy and nuance the fall of its titular protagonist.

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