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December 19, 2003

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Reference Books of the Year

Sanyat Sattar

It has been a happening year for books and these are some of the most acclaimed in 2003.


Encyclopedic Compendium of the Laws of Bangladesh
Dr. Borhan Uddin Khan & Quazi Mahfuzul Hoque Supan
Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust; June 2002
This is a unique compilation of laws, ordinances, rules and regulations that are enforceable in Bangladesh since 1799. The book contains title of the laws, but not their provisions. The book is split into four volumes. Though this book came out last year, it has been widely talked about even this year. People interested in knowing more about our laws and ordinances can use this as a reference.


Abu Taher Mojumder
University Press Limited; October 2002
Jibanananda Das has been termed as the most mysterious poet in Bangla literature. This poet, who kept himself alienated from the rest of the world, is tried to be interpreted in terms of his poems in this volume. Jibanananda Das' poems, fiction, letters and even the poet's life is used here for contextualizing Jibanananda the poet quite thoroughly. The book contains four different essays. The first essay deals with Jibanananda's sense of alienation in terms of different 'isms'. The second essay is centred to on poem “Banalata Sen”-- one of his masterpieces. This chapter explores the interpretations of this poem tracing its sources. The third essay deals with the poems written just before the poet's death. The final chapter focuses on the unforgettable evergreen heroines of Jibanananda. One interesting feature of this book is the writer's interest in the translated versions of the poet's verses. Here the main poem has been compared with the translated versions and there is a comparison between different versions of the translations as well. The book is a rich inclusion to the field of critical literary studies. Kudos to UPL for bringing out this laudable volume.

Sirajul Islam (Chief editor)
Asiatic Society Bangladesh; March 2003
This 10 volume compilation was a long awaited piece and is out at last. This is the first ever encyclopedia written in both Bangla and English. This mega project has put together six thousand entry-heads on everything about Bangladesh. the subtitle of this volume, “National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh” which indicates its purpose. The electronic version of this volume is on the process and is likely to come out early next year.



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