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    Volume 9 Issue 8 | February 19, 2010|

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Young Books to Look Out For

Elita Karim

As the third week draws to a close, the Ekushey Granthamela is now buzzing with more and more readers, book lovers and authors themselves. There are people looking for Anisul Haque's latest Nirbachito Kishore Golpo an Eti publication, Humayan Ahmed's latest and fans of Dr. Zafar Iqbal were hoping for some new science fiction. Even though for years, the book fair has been, in a sense, dominated by established writers, recent changes in trends, in terms of style in writing, innovative ideas with regards to literature and poetry, the fair has been a very important platform for new and young writers.

Publishers, nowadays, make it a point to introduce young people's thoughts and ideas to the readers. For instance, this year young writer Maruf Rahman has come out with Aalta Konnya, a Barshadupur publication. Especially created for children, the book has become very popular with children already. In fact the young readers, along with Maruf himself, like to stress on the point that Aalta Konnya is the child's property, a chunk of his or her dream world where he or she can weave his or her own fantasy. “An adult will be allowed to read it, only if the child allows!” jokes Maruf. Aalta Konnya has created waves not only because it revolves around kings, queens, princesses and the mystical worlds, but also because the story is being launched very soon as an animation by Animedia. “The animation is finished,” says Maruf, “and is just awaiting the music to be put in.” Mehedi Haque has done the cover art of Aalta Konnya.

Yet another book by Maruf Rahman is Girls Girls, a Srijoni publication, a collection of humorous stories he has written in the monthly satire magazine, Unmad. “The editor of Unmad, Ahsan Habib, who has done the cover of the book and also the illustrations, decided to name it so, because he noticed that most of my stories have a female protagonist,” explains Maruf.

Shomudro Manthan is a book of poems by young poet Rajib Roy. A Muktadhara publication, the book is based on the intricate thoughts of a young man growing up in the country. As is the trend, the poems are filled with serene sadness that manages to touch the hearts of the reader. Nevertheless, one cannot miss the strong outpourings of love for the Creator and nature in Roy's poems. Akkas Khan has designed the cover art.

Ever thought of having a taste of science and humour in Bangla? Beporoa, a Bivas publication is a science fiction novel by Dr Shahriar Sharif, who is famous for his witty cartoons and innovative jokes based on day-to-day activities. “The novel is based on flying ships being sighted in ancient times,” explains the author. However, even though the novel deals with serious elements worth pondering on like spaceships, extra terrestrial beings and ancient thoughts, Sharif manages to put in witty conversations and monologues reflecting the protagonist's personality. Similarly, Sharif's collection of six short stories in Fifty One, a Barshadupur publication, also manages to boggle the reader's mind. All the accounts are science fiction stories. “Basically one of my short stories in the set is called 'Fifty One', which is why I decided to call my book Fifty One as well,” he says. Ahsan Habib has designed the covers of both the books.

There was a time when 'How to' books and articles were extremely popular with readers, especially in the more developed nations. For instance, Dale Carnegie's book 'How to make friends and influence people' was a big hit with the readers of the time and was a household copy. Sajib Saha's Chakri Pawar Koushol -- Shafoller 101 Tips, a Muktadhara publication follows a similar trend. Saha, a young writer who recently acquired an MBA degree from a private university in Dhaka, speaks of all the young graduates in this country who are in a rut when it comes to getting a job. In spite of the changing social trends, which are slowly allowing young people to experiment with all kinds of work, it is still very difficult for fresh graduates to figure out their mission in the world. Interestingly, in the book Saha has interviewed successful people in their respective line of work, starting from the Vice Chancellor of a private university to a radio jockey. Rajib Roy has designed the cover.

As the final week of the fair begins, the young writers mentioned above and many more out there are trying their best to have their voices heard. Readers will find books, which deal with politics, education and also a lot of humour and fiction. Plenty of children's books will also hit the stores this weekend, which, thanks to the authorities, have been declared days for children once again.


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