Taslima Nasreen's 'Lajja' completes 20 years, translated afresh

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Kolkata, Sep 15: Marking the twentieth anniversary of the controversial novel 'Lajja', a fresh English translation of the Bengali work by feminist author Taslima Nasrin has now been published.

Translated by activist-writer Anchita Ghatak, the 20th anniversary edition of 'Lajja' by Penguin is an updated one. "This is like a documentary novel.

There are fictional characters but is based on facts. 'Lajja' has been a bestseller for a very long time. It has been published and translated in almost all Indian languages and also many foreign languages like French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, etc," Nasrin said.

'Lajja' recounts the story about the Duttas, a Bengali family living in Bangladesh and their struggles during the communal riots in 1992, which started when the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished.

A year after 'Lajja' was published in 1993, she had to leave Bangladesh in the wake of death threat by fundamentalist outfits for her alleged anti-Islamic views.

The doctor-turned-author, who has been living in exile since then, took refuge in India in 2004 after a long stay in Europe. She stayed in Kolkata, which she called her home till 2007 when she had to be bundled out following violent protests by Muslims against her work.

She stayed in an undisclosed location in New Delhi for about seven months till she left for Sweden, which granted her citizenship.

She, however, returned to Delhi and her visa, which she been getting on a continuous basis since 2004, was recently extended till August 2015.

Nasrin's other works include 'Dwikhondito', 'Oporpokkho' 'Amar Meyebela' and 'Utal Hawa' and she has won a number of awards including the Simone de Beauvoir Prize in 2008 and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thoughts from the European Parliament in 1994.

PTI

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