Bangladesh’s Shaheen Akhtar has won the 3rd Asian Literary Award for her novel ‘Talaash’, reports UNB.
The novel paints the sufferings of Birangona women – survivors of sexual violence during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The award was announced on November 1 at the Asian Literature Festival 2020.
“Imperialism and colonialism, war and violence, the deceptions of war criminals, mistreatment of independence fighters, and ongoing ill-treatment of rape victims are all interwoven in the narrative of the novel,” Kim Nam-il, novelist and the award committee chair, said. Also, Nam-il compared ‘Talaash’ with Svetlana Alexievich’s ‘The Unwomanly Face of the War,’ calling it “one of the greatest feminist anti-war docu-novels of our time.”
“The novel’s protagonist, Maryam, who finds herself caught in the snare of dualities, enters another world in which she and a companion enjoy the camaraderie of fellow Birangonas, holds its own as one of the most sublime scenes in contemporary literature.” Mowla Brothers published ‘Talaash’ in 2009.