I've been looking for some books to read about Bangladesh for a while now, both fiction and non-fiction, so when a discussion about books covering the historical and political context of the country came up in an online group, I wanted to make sure these great suggestions didn't get lost.
Thanks to Jenny Gustafsson, Uzumaki Kyuubi, Allison Joyce, and Andrew Bostrom for the following suggestions! (And if you needed any persuading as to why you might want to find out more about this gorgeous country, check out this A-Z of what to love about Bangladesh by Jenny Gustafsson)
Non-fiction - history and culture
- Oculus: A Decade of Insights into Bangladeshi Affairs, by Adnan Morshed
- A History of Bangladesh by Willem van Schendel
- The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity by Amartya Sen (Bangladesh being part of the 'India' discussed in the book)
- Bangladesh: A Legacy of Blood by Anthony Mascarenhas
- Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Mohammed Yunus (I just finished reading this and thought it was wonderful, see this blog post for more details!)
- Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs by Mohammed Yunus
- Freedom From Want: The Remarkable Success Story of BRAC, the Global Grassroots Organization That's Winning the Fight Against Poverty by Ian Smillie - very difficult to find to buy online and not available on Kindle, but if you happen to be in Dhaka you can find it on sale at branches of Aarong.
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri - Reading this brought the most “that happened to me!”; moments I've ever had in a book . It's a collection of short stories, many around families from Bengali backgrounds living in the US or the UK. Highly recommended!
- The Mirror of the Sky: Songs of the Baul's of Bengal (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works: European) by Deben Bhattacharya
- A Golden Age, by Tahmima Anam - This is the first English-language fiction book I've come across about the Liberation war - it's a good read, with lots of historical context. Nice twist at the end, too...
- The Good Muslim, by Tahmima Anam - the sequel to A Golden Age, this focuses a lot more on the role of Islam within the family we see in The Good Muslim.
- Killing the Water - Short Stories by Mahmud Rahman
- The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore: A miscellany
- Songs at the River's Edge: Stories from a Bangladeshi Village, by Katy Gardner
- Bangladesh: Reflections on the Water (Essential Asia Series) by James J. Novak
Any other suggestions, tweet me @zararah!