Fakrul Alam

Fakrul Alam (born 20 July 1951) is a Bangladeshi academic, writer, and translator.[1] He writes on literary matters and postcolonial issues and translated works of Jibanananda Das and Rabindranath Tagore into English. He is the recipient of Bangla Academy Literary Award (2012) in translation literature and SAARC Literary Award (2012).[2][3]

Fakrul Alam
Alam at Bangla Academy, Dhaka (2013)
Alam at Bangla Academy, Dhaka (2013)
Native name
ফকরুল আলম
Born (1951-07-20) 20 July 1951 (age 69)
Ukilpara, Feni District, East Bengal, Dominion of Pakistan
OccupationAcademic, writer, translator
LanguageBengali, English
Alma materUniversity of Dhaka
University of British Columbia
Notable awardsBangla Academy Literary Award (2013)

Early life and educationEdit

Alam grew up in Ramkrishna Mission Road, Dhaka.[4] He began his schooling at Little Jewels Kindergarten and later attended St. Joseph's School and spent his college days in Notre Dame College. He completed BA and MA in English at the University of Dhaka, earned a second master's degree from Simon Fraser University and achieved his PhD degree from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. His PhD dissertation was on works of Daniel Defoe.[4]

Academic careerEdit

Alam became a faculty member at the Department of English of the University of Dhaka after the liberation war of Bangladesh. As of today, he taught at several universities around the globe, including Clemson University, USA as a Fulbright Scholar, and Jadavpur University, India as a Visiting Associate Professor.[5] Besides academic responsibilities, he was also the Director of the Advanced Studies in the Humanities of the University of Dhaka from 1993 to 1996, and Adviser of the Dhaka University Central Library from 2002 to 2003. He is currently a member of the Education Policy Implementation Committee constituted by the Government of Bangladesh.[5] He serves as an advisor at the Department of English of East West University.[6]


Alam's first book was Daniel Defoe: Colonial Propagandist.[4] He writes in a vibrant style with logical argumentation on literary matters that range from colonial to post-colonial literature.[7] For him, reading and writing are a living experience. He received widespread recognition as one of the best translators and foremost authorities of Jibanananda Das and Rabindranath Tagore.[8] Appreciating Alam's translation of Jibanananda Das, Syed Manzoorul Islam said "the sights and sounds of Bengal's landscape, its crowded botany and its constantly shifting lights and shadows find their way into Alam's translation".[9] In 2011 he edited The Essential Tagore in collaboration with Radha Chakravarty for Visva-Bharati University, India and Harvard University Press, USA.[10] Below is an excerpt of Alam's translation of "Amar Shonar Bangla" (My Bengal of Gold) by R.Tagore from The Essential Tagore:

"O mother, when I lay myself down at your feet;
Bless me with the dust that they tread, for they will bejewel me.
O mother dear, what little I have I will lay at your feet,
How fulfilling to stop adorning myself with foreign purchases,
To know that even the rope you provide for a noose can be my adornment!" (331)


  • The Unfinished Memoirs (translation of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's unfinished autobiography; 2012)
  • The Essential Tagore (2011)
  • Rabindranath Tagore and National Identity Formation in Bangladesh: Essays and Reviews (2013)
  • Imperial Entanglements and Literature in English (2007)
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography: South Asian Writers in English (2006)
  • Jibananada Das: Selected Poems, Translated with Introduction, Bibliography and Glossary (1999)
  • Bharati Mukherjee, Twane's United States Authors Series (1995)
  • Daniel Defoe: Colonial Propagandist (1989)[4]
  • The Ocean of Sorrow (2016)


  1. ^ "Essential Tagore nominated best book of year". Hindustan Times. Delhi. 29 November 2011. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Bangla Academy Awards announced". bdnews24.com. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  3. ^ Chakraborty, Mridula Nath (26 March 2014). Being Bengali: At Home and in the World. Routledge. ISBN 9781317818908. Retrieved 20 May 2018 – via Google Books. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c d Hasan Al Zayed (19 May 2018). "Professor Fakrul Alam: Literature, Life and Translation". The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Fakrul Alam University of Dhaka Faculty member profile" (PDF). Dhaka: University of Dhaka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Faculty". Dhaka: East West University. Retrieved 18 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Choudhury, Sirajul I. (June 2007). "Culture and Politics: A Review On Imperial Entanglement and Literature in English". Spectrum. University of Dhaka. 5. ISSN 1562-7195.
  8. ^ Maniruzzaman, S. M. "Fakrul Alam's "Rabindranath Tagore and the National Identity Formation in Bangladesh": A Review". Dhaka: RTNN. Retrieved 9 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "In his literary world . . ". The Daily Star. Dhaka. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "The Essential Tagore: A New Statesman Book of the Year, 2011". Harvard University Press. Retrieved 18 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further readingEdit