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News of: Saturday, 6th of December, 2008
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Registered political parties including Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Jamaat-e-Islami placed on their polls tickets some 130 individuals who are either loan or utility service bill defaulters.
Awami league (AL), BNP and Jatiya Party (JP) are now scrambling to find alternative party nominees for parliamentary constituencies where their original nominees' applications for candidacy were rejected by returning officers.
Purchase and sale of sacrificial animals have already started at different cattle markets in the city ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha but prices are high compared to the last year's prices because of low supply of cattle.
Saudi Arabia has mobilised a force of 100,000 men to protect an estimated two million Muslim pilgrims flocking to Makkah for hajj, amid fears of attack or deadly stampedes.
Agricultural sector in Bangladesh is already affected by global climate change, needing support for climate resilient agriculture and for overall adaptation, ActionAid said in a report at the UN summit on climate change in Poland.
Chief Election Commission (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said yesterday there cannot be a level playing field for all in the coming parliamentary election as some influential loan and bill defaulters will be in the polls race with court orders.
Even though BNP leader Fazlur Rahman Patal owns a Lexus and a Nissan SUV, a Mazda car and a building in Dhaka worth Tk 1.54 crore, he claims to be a farmer earning Tk 2.15 lakh a year, thus not having to pay any income tax.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has now set its sight on the country's cattle markets ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as part of its intensified drive against tax evaders.
The US ambassador to Dhaka has said elections intended to restore democratic rule in Bangladesh will be a watershed which could produce either a model Muslim democracy or a new hotbed of extremism.
Average milk consumption in Bangladesh is the lowest in the region. Its cost is the highest in the region due to low yield and high production cost, making it almost impossible for the majority people to have the nutritious food item.
Hundreds of people from all walks of life paid tribute to Ganotantri Party president Nurul Islam showering flowers on his coffin at the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital yesterday.
Jatiya Party yesterday announced names of its candidates for 47 out of the 50 seats it has been allotted as part of Awami League-led grand alliance.
The Election Commission (EC) should arrange special security measures in the upcoming national polls in the constituencies where minority communities were subjected to repression during and after the 2001 elections, human rights activists and academics said yesterday.
The depression over southeast Bay moved slightly northwestwards and intensified into a deep depression.
India's top law enforcement official admitted yesterday there were government "lapses" in last week's terror attack on Mumbai, amid a public uproar over security and intelligence failures in the deadly siege.
At least 12 people were killed and dozens more were wounded when a bomb ripped through a crowded marketplace in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar yesterday while another suicide bombing at a security checkpoint killed six others in northwest.
Defence sources told the Jerusalem Post they were considering going it alone in a strike on Iran.
Oil prices fell to 42.01 dollars a barrel in trading here on Friday, the lowest level since January 2005, and were expected to slide further in the days ahead as energy demand wanes, analysts said.
THE figures for local investment proposals in the first ten months of the current calendar year showed an upward trend, according to statistics released by the Board of Investment (BoI). Even though all the schemes submitted before the BoI would not likely hit the ground; yet, the forward looking intent to industrialise through local capital somehow stands out. Indeed, it's a healthy departure from the cold feet local enterprise got for a good length of time since the anti-corruption-cum-accountability drive was launched by the interim caretaker government on assumption of power.
THE dreadful daytime blaze at Islambagh on Thursday took a heavy toll in terms of lives lost, people injured and suffering and property gutted. The loss is calculated at anything between Tk two and four crore. Not only poor people are having to live under open skies, the loss of shoe and foam factories has dealt a blow to local trade.
THE world has recoiled with horror and anger after the militant attacks carried out in Mumbai. More than 190 were killed and over 400 wounded in the carnage. It was clear that meticulous planning and "international collaboration" were undertaken by the perpetrators prior to the incident. It also displayed severe lapses of Indian security agencies.
THE vandalising of "Balaka" sculpture is an act of intolerance by fundamentalists. Some radical religious groups are spreading their brand of Islam that also creates hatred and fear among the ethnic minorities. Since the early '80s state and religion have been mixed. Religion became a tool for exploiting people and the secular character of the constitution was changed.
IN fact, achievement of super specialties in different faculties, enrichment of diagnostic procedure and excellence in technology are not enough to be acclaimed where poor and distressed people are deprived of desirable service easily and efficiently. Health service can claim credit and excellence when it can attend a patient in time with appropriate medication and client's satisfaction.
As expected the duration of first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would be six days as Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officially released the itineraries for the Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe tours on Friday.
Abahani destroyed Sheikh Russel during a 12-minute storm to win the Citycell B. League's top-of-the-table clash 3-0 yesterday.
Sri Lanka on Friday named squads for their two-Test away series against Bangladesh later this month and a tri-nation one-day tournament involving Zimbabwe.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has urged India to go ahead with its tour of Pakistan next year, saying that cancelling the series would be disastrous for the game in the sub-continent.
Former world cricket chief Malcolm Speed has called for more retired top players to be involved in running the game and has downplayed fears of an Indian takeover of the sport.
Apparently unhappy with the inadequate security provided to him, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday went to the Birsa Munda airport here without any 'armed men' to fly off to Chennai, claimed a former coach of the wicket-keeper batsman.
Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf said Friday that visa problems may prevent him being at next week's first Test between India and England after it was relocated following the Mumbai attacks.
Jacob Oram is in line to give New Zealand a boost by regaining fitness in time for the first Test against West Indies starting next Thursday. While a back injury is his main concern, Oram picked up a hairline fracture to his left index finger while playing for Central Districts in the State Championship last week
Obaidul Islam Shaheen slipped to second position as he lost the eighth round board in the Prime Bank 11th Open International Rating Chess Tournament at the federation hall-room yesterday.
Lokman Faruk emerged winner in the Lancer Cup golf tournament which concluded at the Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) yesterday.
Roy Keane's abrupt departure from struggling Sunderland has left his old Manchester United teammate Paul Ince on his own in the Premier League firing line.
Sir Alex Ferguson says there is no guarantee Roy Keane will return to football after seeing the former Manchester United captain walk out on his job as Sunderland manager just 48 hours before Saturday's Premier League clash with United at Old Trafford.
Portsmouth's first UEFA Cup campaign ended in heartbreak on Thursday with a 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg which featured another embarrassing howler from England goalkeeper David James
Plagued by injuries and losing ground in the title race, Spanish champions Real Madrid are desperately trying to cling on to the coat-tails of leaders Barcelona ahead of 'El Clasico' at Camp Nou on December 14.
AC Milan and Juventus will try to reduce the gap on leaders Inter Milan as the champions face a tough match at the weekend with a trip to high flying Lazio.
The Bundesliga's traditional winter break will be cut by three weeks to three-and-a-half weeks from the 2009-10 season, the German Football Federation announced Thursday.
Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari has revealed that close friend Michael Essien advised him to join the Italian giants in order to link up with Jose Mourinho.
Real Madrid's injury-plagued Mali international Mahamadou Diarra has traveled to France for treatment on his right knee, the club said.
Former England international midfielder Darren Anderton announced his retirement from football on Thursday.
Heerenveen (NED) 1 (Sibon 19) Sporting Braga (POR) 2 (Renteria 35, Aguiar 56)
Ricky Ponting thinks Australia deserve to hold on to the No. 1 ranking even if they are defeated by South Africa in the three-Test series over the next month. Australia have held the top spot under Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ponting and the current captain said the outfit's dominance over a long period meant it should not be deposed.
Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin has been named as Chris Gayle's deputy for the five ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals on the tour of New Zealand. Ramdin, who was not part of the team for the recent ODIs in Abu Dhabi, replaces Ramnaresh Sarwan as vice-captain. Sarwan has been named vice-captain for the upcoming two-Test series, a squad which includes Ramdin.
Suspended Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif apologised to the nation in an emotional breakdown on the national television and promised to turn a new leaf in future.
India's Supreme Court on Friday stopped criminal proceedings against the country's top cricket officials on perjury charges, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in separate messages yesterday called for concerted efforts to strengthen democracy.
Over 700 victims of Thursday's fires at Islambagh in the capital spent a night under the open sky as they after losing almost everything in the fires did not get any aid from any quarters.
The 45th death anniversary of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was observed in a befitting manner yesterday, says a press release.
The indigenous people of Haluaghat upazila in the district celebrated the daylong programme 'Wanna', the Garo thanksgiving, yesterday at Askipara village amid huge festivity and enthusiasm.
Civil society members at a meeting yesterday hoped that the newly elected government would undertake various measures to address the impact of ongoing financial crisis and global recession on the country's economy, says a press release.
Around 400 people, including students, formed a human chain and organised a rally yesterday urging the voters not to vote corrupts, musclemen and black money holders who are contesting the next general polls.
Environmentalists yesterday demanded setting up of a separate fund for combating natural disaster.
Election Working Group (EWG), a platform of 32 local election observers, has taken up several voter education programmes, including distribution of nine million brochures across the country and formation of Citizens' Alliance for Promoting Transparency and Accountability (CAPTA) at every upazila.
Executive Director of Transparency Inter-national Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman has urged everyone to be united against corruption.
Students and cultural workers are going to start a fresh movement in the city from a single platform to protest attacks on Lalon and Balaka sculptures.
French Ambassador Charley Causeret yesterday hoped that a free, fair and credible parliamentary election will be held in the country, with participation of all political parties.
Two farmers suffered severe burn injuries as criminals threw acid on them near Tota farm on Thakurgaon-Gorea highway in Sadar upazila yesterday evening over a land dispute.
Armed robbers shot three people and looted 5 tolas of gold, 4 tolas of silver, two bicycles and Tk 39000 in cash from three residences of two adjacent villages in Jhenidah early yesterday.
As part of the celebration of Eid-ul-Azha and 400-years of Dhaka, Dhakabashi and Shadhinota Sangsad, jointly organised a 'Mehedi Festival' and 'Zamdani Fashion Competition' at the Public Library seminar room in the city yesterday, says a press release.
Reunion of old students of Nilphamari Government High School will be held on the school premises on December 11.
Navana Group awarded 30 winners of its Toyota Dream Car Art Contest '08 at Navana-Toyota showroom at Tejgaon in the city yesterday.
Lalmonirhat Free Day was celebrated on Thursday amid a daylong programme organised by government and non-government organisations and Muktijoddha Parishad in the town.
Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) yesterday said it will provide tele-health services for patients round the clock during the Eid holidays and national polls, says a press release.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday recovered a motorbike and 105 bottles of phensidyl from a gang of smugglers in Benapole.
Speakers at a painting competition yesterday called on all to inculcate the spirit of the liberation war in children as they are the future of the country.
A young man is feared drowned as a boat capsized in the river Buriganga after being hit by a launch yesterday afternoon.
Two people were killed and 16 others injured in a road accident in Dinajpur yesterday.
A team of the crime prevention company (CPC) of Rab-10 yesterday recovered foreign currencies left out in a bag at Dhanmondi in the city.
A young man was crushed to death under the wheels of a train at Laksham Railway Junction on Thursday night.
Followers of BNP secretary general Khondaker Delwar Hossain are working for independent candidate in Manikganj-2 Engineer Mainul Islam Khan Shanta instead of party nominee Afroza Khan Rita, party sources claimed.
As many as 43 cases, mostly pending for trial in courts, were filed against nine nomination aspirants from six constituencies in Khulna city and district.
BNP and its front organisations continued protests yesterday against four-party alliance nomination to Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid in Faridpur-3 (Sadar) instead of BNP leader Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf.
For the first time in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), an indigenous woman is contesting from Rangamati constituency in the upcoming parliamentary election.
There is no candidate of Awami League and BNP in Moulvibazar-2 (Kulaura and four union of Kamalganj) constituency in the coming national election.
Burying their differences over nomination in Chittagong-8 constituency, Chittagong Mayor and city unit Awami League President ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and Vice President Nurul Islam had a cordial meeting on Wednesday night, much to the relief of party supporters just 25 days ahead of the parliamentary election.
Displeased with BNP policymakers' decision to nominate convicted Md Shokrana as four-party alliance candidate for Bogra-1 (Shariakandi-Sonatola) and ignoring their proposal for nominating 'prospective' Jamaat candidates for Bogra-4 (Khalu-Nandigram) and Bogra-5 (Sherpur-Dhanut), Jamaat leaders and activists have started campaign against BNP candidates.
Jatiya Party bargained for 8 out of 19 Jatiya Sangsad seats in Sylhet division but now they are to remain satisfied with only two. These are Sunamganj-4 (Sunamganj Sadar and Biswambharpur) and Moulvibazar-2 (Kulaura and part of Komolganj).
District unit BNP President former minister Air Vice Marshal (rtd) Altaf Hossain Chowdhury and Jatiya Party Secretary General former minister ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader are on the fight for Patuakhali-1 (Sadar, Mirzaganj and Dumki upazilas) constituency in the upcoming election.
Two women candidates, one of Jatiya Party (JP) and the other of Awami League (AL) have expressed their optimism to win the polls race.
Cancellation of nomination of Awami League (AL) candidate in Pabna-2 (Sujamagar-Bera) constituency Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khandaker, also chief of Sector Commanders Forum, has frustrated party leader and activists in Sujanagar upazila.
India and Russia signed a civilian nuclear deal yesterday that would see Russia build four nuclear reactors for power-starved India.
US-led troops killed 14 militants in two days of clashes in southern Afghanistan, US military statements said yesterday.
India claims it has proof that Pakistan's powerful military intelligence agency was involved in last week's attacks in Mumbai, Indian newspapers reported yesterday.
India has been angered "as never before" by the attacks in Mumbai, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday, as his new home minister hinted at growing evidence of Pakistani involvement.
Sri Lankan troops leading a heavy offensive against Tamil separatists have secured parts of a key highway running through rebel-held territory, the defence ministry said yesterday.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday called on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step down, saying power-sharing talks with the opposition were a "sham process."
Armed robbers pulled off one of the world's biggest jewellery heists at a famed Paris store, making off with diamonds and valuables worth 80 million euros (102 million dollars), investigators said Friday.
Scientists have discovered a more efficient way of building a synthetic genome that could one day enable them to create artificial life, according to a study released Wednesday.
From peace marches to calls for toned-down Eid celebrations, Mumbai's Muslims are doing all they can to dissociate themselves from last week's attacks that were carried out in the name of Islam.
A top US military commander says the new security pact that sets a timetable for American troops to leave Iraq will require a shift in how the US carries out combat missions in the country.
Arts & Entertainment
The gala event of the 4th Citycell-Channel i Music Awards was held at the Hall of Fame, Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre on December 4. Veteran musician and Nazrul exponent Sudhin Das received the lifetime achievement award. American filmmaker Lear Levin and Bangladesh Mukti Shangrami Shilpi Shangstha received special honours at the programme.
Director of acclaimed films like “Chitra Nadir Parey” (1998), “Lalshalu” (2001) and “Lalon” (2004), Tanvir Mokammel premiered his latest feature film “Rabeya” yesterday at the Balaka movie theatre. Set against the backdrop of Liberation War, "Rabeya" is one of the three films that received a government grant this year. According to the director, the film is a "deconstruction" of Sophocles' "Antigone."
On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day (December 9), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) organised a cartoon competition and exhibition on the theme "fighting corruption." As a part of TIB's Youth Engagement and Support (YES) programme, the objective of the competition and exhibition is to motivate the youth to say no to corruption.
On Eid day at 11:15 pm, "Mermaid" will be aired on ntv. The play has been jointly written by Matia Banu Shuku and Rony Ahmed, and directed by Nurul Alam Atique.
Three NGOs -- Spandan, Shanghati and ADD Bangladesh -- have the mandate to ameliorate the lot of the differently-abled. The trio recently joined hands to organise several programmes, including a rally, discussion and a cultural function in Sirajganj town last Tuesday on the occasion of International Day of Disabled Persons.
The Sundance Film Festival, the premiere event for US independent movies, on Wednesday unveiled a wide-ranging list of more than 60 movies that will compete for awards at its 25th anniversary event in January.
In the write up titled "Honours for Tanvir Mokammel in India," published in the December 3, 2008 issue of Arts & Entertainment, it has been inadvertently written "...in memory of artist Jatin Das..." insinuating that the artist is deceased. Jatin Das is very much alive. We regret the error.
IT was only on 24th November last that this writer pointed to the lurking threat of the so-called religious extremists to our democratic polity. In fact, there are enough indications to believe that the extremists who masterminded and perpetrated the mindless violence in the not-too-distant past in Bangladesh are lying low on account of tactical reasons. The Mumbai carnage of 26th to 28th November bears fearsome testimony to the premonition that the terror network suspected to be maintaining regional connection can strike at ease even in a locale that has seen repeated violence.
FOR all Muslims of the world Hajj is a pilgrimage to Holy Ka'ba. Situated in the holy city of Mecca the Ka'ba is the greatest place of worship for all Muslims. Hajj is one of the five strong pillars on which the grand edifice of Islam stands. Other four pillars are (1) "Iman" (Faith ), (2) "Salat" (Daily 5-time prayers), (3) "Siam" (Fasting) and (4) "Zakat" (Poor's due). It is obligatory on the part of every able-bodied, resourceful and adult Muslim to perform Hajj at least once in his life time.
THERE is always a group of people who slip through the cracks of every form of poverty alleviation strategy tried and tested until now. Be it the manual labourers living daily from hand to mouth or the women and children who work in our houses in exchange of meagre sums of money, different circumstances always prevent them from participating in the elaborate development panaceas that are implemented. They generally tend to fall into the last quintile of the income distribution and therefore are sucked into a poverty trap and it takes a lot more effort to get them out of abject poverty compared to the run-of-the-mill strategies such as microfinance. In an effort to counter this problem, BRAC implemented a programme that has not been used anywhere in the world before, aptly named Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction: The Specially Targeted Ultra Poor (STUP).
YESTERDAY, December 5, was the International Day of Volunteers. Volunteerism is an important indicator of trust and solidarity within and between communities. The ripples of volunteerism can trickle down to foster the empowerment of marginalized groups. It can engage local people in their own development. Volunteerism has remained a source of community strength, resilience, solidarity and social cohesion. The collective ripples of volunteerism can also provide inspiration to government and vice-versa.
Zubaida bent down to cut off the head of yet another withered rose. It broke her heart to do this: having no children of her own, each flower was like a child to her. But she knew only by cutting the shrivelled blooms would another bloom appear, twice as beautiful as the last. 'I have to be cruel to be kind!' she laughingly reminded herself.
There are writers who create fiction by viewing the post-colonial world in the perception of their own experiences, and then there are the scholars who study the perspective of these writers and create Post Colonial Literary theory.
My MotherMasud Khan
(Translated by Fakrul Alam)
Ordinarily, dry skin (xerosis) is not serious, but it can be uncomfortable and unsightly, turning plump cells into shriveled ones and creating fine lines and wrinkles.
Recently published arguments that increased funding for HIV is to blame for the chronic underfunding of broader health systems are rooted in a simplistic analysis of how global health priorities are established.
Every month it is the same old story. You feel like someone is stabbing in your lower abdomen and back. There is nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, irritability while nervousness are also associated. It compels you to spend most of the day curled up in the bed from the first day of your menstrual period. Cramps in your lower abdomen get worse with time and it happens again in next month.
The prevalence of diabetes worldwide will far outstrip even the sharp increase currently projected unless rising trends of obesity are controlled, health experts said.
Have you heard the term’ Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ or CRS? This occurs in some people after they eat foods containing the food additive Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) — a common ingredient in Chinese restaurants. This is the salt version of glutamic acid, which is a non-essential amino acid.
Why eat wheat germ? Wheat germ is the center of the wheat seed that is responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. Though only a small part of the wheat seed, the germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fiber and some fat. Wheat germ adds a healthy crunch to virtually any recipe, from breakfast pancakes to fruit smoothies.
THE carnage in Mumbai is a shocking reminder once again of the fear that few non-state actors can cause, which only full scale wars between nations could in the past. In 9/11 acts of terrorism, it was one score; in the Mumbai massacre, the perpetrators were fewer who actually caused the carnage and mayhem. There are of course many more involved in organizing and executing these acts such as terrorist organizations and nation-states. Pursuing them to root out terrorism has so far been futile as these terrorists and their groups keep on changing strategies as they have done in the Mumbai carnage to escape detection. The Mumbai terrorist attacks, the tragedy and carnage notwithstanding, should therefore lead those pursuing the war on terror to make a strategic shift and deal with the causes as much as the perpetrators. So far, at least since 9/11, the objective has been to pursue the perpetrators with little attention to the causes that breed terrorism.
DOMESTICALLY, in the Israeli arena, just three months prior to the elections on the 10th of February 2009, many events are occurring in the high leadership echelons of the major political parties. In the Labor Party, Ehud Barak is facing serious challenges to his leadership. All the polls predict he and his party will suffer a real defeat in these next elections. Various political leaders, including Uzi Baram and Ami Ayalon and several authors such as Amos Oz and David Grossman, who identify with Labor, have deserted the party.
Obama, though being 50% white Kansan and 50% black Kenyan ethnically but 100% Afro-American by choice, presented himself as an all-American candidate to the US electorate. This symbolism was unavoidable. A majority of the voters are white. Unless he got their vote, Obama couldn't have won even if he got overwhelming black and Hispanic support, as these two groups together are a minority.
Star Books Review
The book is dedicated to the late Mirza Ghulam Hafiz, who inspired the writer into joining the legal profession. The contents of the book include an introduction and nine chapters, references and index.
Sokhinar Boli. A tale of atrocities perpetrated on women offers a powerful testimony to different types of gender-based violence experienced by women and girls throughout their lives.
The Wedding is a richly imagined novel in which emotions of men and women branch out in extraordinary ways. Nicholas Sparks has the gift of sketching out human relationships with luscious blends of love and lust. There is Noah who seems to be living with his long dead wife Allie. There seems to be no love lost between the living and the dead. There is this belief in him that Allie comes to him as a swan that visits him in their pond everyday. Noah and the swan give a spiritual touch to the story. There is Jane, Noah's daughter, who after thirty years of marriage to Wilson finds that there is still much to be discovered about the relationship. And there is Ann, Jane's daughter, who loves Keith in her wild, romantic ways. Their love story is yet another rich chapter of the book. The story whips up with trouble brewing in the marriage of Wilson and Jane. The family suddenly finds itself on fragile grounds, grounds that seemed to be giving away beneath love that is suddenly lost in confusion. The neighbors too are caught up with the family's gains and pitfalls. However, each of the characters is shadowed by the other and we find a touching story of love and kindness coming out of momentary dark shadows.
This year's Man Booker Prize was lavished on Aravind Adiga for his first novel, The White Tiger, which beat out novels by two other distinguished Indian novelists: Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghose. The award created a kind of brouhaha in literary circles because of the novel's protagonist: a con man and a murderer, who relates the story of his rise from lowly driver (for a rich Indian couple) to successful entrepreneur in BangaloreŻnarrated in a kind of tongue-in-cheek tone, though smirk may be more appropriate. Even the author himself has spoken of his novel, "It's not a book that's meant to ingratiate itself with anyone."