Bangladeshi English literature

Bangladeshi English literature (BEL) refers to the body of literary work written in the English language in Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi diaspora. In academia, it is also referred to as Bangladeshi Writing in English (BWE).[1] Early prominent Bengali writers in English included Sake Dean Mahomed, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Begum Rokeya and Rabindranath Tagore. Modern writers of the Bangladeshi diaspora include Tahmima Anam, Neamat Imam, Monica Ali and Zia Haider Rahman.


In 1905, Begum Rokeya (1880–1932) wrote Sultana's Dream, one of the world's earliest examples of feminist science fiction.[2]

Contemporary sceneEdit

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam is set during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Anam is also the author of The Good Muslim. Zia Haider Rahman, a British Bangladeshi novelist, published his debut novel In the Light of What We Know in 2014 which won the James Tait Black Prize for literature in 2015. Rahman received glowing praise and acclaim for his first book, which The New Yorker described as "astonishingly achieved".[3] Monica Ali's Brick Lane was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003. Published from the US in 2018, Fayeza Hasanat's debut short story collection The Bird Catcher and Other Stories addresses gender expectations, familial love, and questions of identity and belonging. Like A Diamond in the Sky by Shazia Omar portrays the psychedelic world of Dhaka's university students, who are caught up in the haze of drugs, punk rock and fusion.[4] Rashid Askari "has demonstrated enough artistic talent to come up with fiction in English".[5] His short story collection Nineteen Seventy One and Other Stories (2011) has been translated into French and Hindi.[6]

Contemporary PoetryEdit

Kaiser Haq is the most prominent name in Bangladeshi English-language poetry.

Media and journalsEdit

Bangladesh has an influential English-language press, including newspapers The Daily Star, New Age, Dhaka Tribune, The Independent, which bring out regular literary supplements. Prominent magazines include The Star, Slate, Dhaka Courier and Forum. Bengal Lights is one of the country's few English literary journals.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Bangladeshis writing in English". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  2. ^ Anam, Tahmima (27 May 2011). "My hero Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  3. ^ Wood, James (19 May 2014), "The World As We Know It: Zia Haider Rahman's dazzling début",The New Yorker. Retrieved on 2015-01-20.
  4. ^ "Twinkle, twinkle, little stir | books". Hindustan Times. 2009-09-11. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  5. ^ "A Talk with IU VC |". 2017-03-06. Archived from the original on 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  6. ^ "Nineteen seventy one and other stories: a collection of short stories « Dhaka Courier". 2013-05-23. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2020-04-01.