Khwabnama - Akhteruzzaman Elias
AUTHOR : Akhteruzzaman Elias TRANSLATED BY: Arunava Sinha
Khwabnama is a rare work of magic realism from Bangladesh which stylistically reads like a surrealistic work from Latin America or Eastern Europe but depicts the world of South Asia. It depicts the socio political scene in rural pre- partition Bangladesh
‘You keep harvesting other people’s crops, aren’t you ever going to harvest your own?’
Bengal in the 1940 s Having overcome the famine and the revolt of the sharecroppers, Bengal’s peasants are uniting Work isscarce and wages are low There is barely any food to be had The proposal for the formation of Pakistan, the elections of 1946 and communal riots are rewriting the contours of history furiously Amidst all this, in an unnamed village, a familiar corporeal spirit plunges into knee deep mud This is Tamiz’sfather, the man in possession of Khwabnama the Book of Dreams At first glance, Khwabnama is the tale of a harmless young farmhand who becomes a sharecropper and dreams of a future that has everything to do with the land that he cultivates and the soil that he tills The fabric of his dreams, though, have as much to do with the history of the land as its future, as much to do with memories as with hope In this magnum opus, which documents the Tebhaga Movement, when peasants demanded two thirds of the harvest they produced on the land owned by zamindars, Akhteruzzaman Elias has created an extraordinarytale of magical realism blending memory with reality, legend with history, and the struggle of marginalised people with the stories of their ancestors
Akhteruzzaman Elias 1943 1997 was a Bangladeshi novelist and short story writer, who despite only writing two novels, is regarded by most critics as among the pantheon of great Bengali authors. Chilekothar Sepai The Soldier in the Attic, 1987 detailed the psychological journey of a man during the turbulent period just prior to Bangladeshi independence in 1971 and offered an unrivalled depiction of life in Puran Dhaka, the old town. Khwabnama The Book of Dreams, 1996 depicts the socio political scene in rural pre partition Bangladesh.His many awards include Bangla Academy Award for Literature 1983 the Kazi Mahbubullah Gold Medal 1996 and the Ekushey Padak
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