Bangladesh: Writings on 1971, Across Borders – Ed. Rakhshanda Jalil & Debjani Sengupta


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1971 was a decisive moment in the history of the subcontinent, one that had profound social, historical and cultural reverberations throughout the region. The birth of Bangladesh, once a part of Pakistan, in many ways overturned the lessons of 1947 and laid bare the ironies and contradictions of history.

Like any violent historical moment, the euphoria, nightmares and memories of 1971 have also spawned contested accounts. Tracing the journey of a nation that has celebrated fifty years of its birth, the stories, poems and ‘memory texts’ collected here, from Bangla, Urdu and English, are varied in their understandings of and responses to 1971. This anthology probes the intersection of literature and history through the eyes of writers and poets on both sides of the borders who attempt to capture and recount those turbulent months of euphoria and trauma. It is also an homage to all those who fought and lived through the aftermath, trying to shape modes of reconciliation and peace.

Bringing together the most compelling voices from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, many translated into English for the first time, this unique volume will appeal to readers and scholars of Partition and South Asian history, as much as to keen lovers of literature.


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