Selina Hossain (b. 1947)

Selina Hossain was born on June 14, 1947 at Rajshahi, in what is now Bangladesh. One of the foremost writers of Bengali fiction today, she is also actively involved in cultural and social work in the areas of human rights and gender issues. Her publication includes about 21 novels, 4 collections of short stories, 4 books of essays, and 4 books of children's literature. She has edited 2 books on the socio-economic issues for children under the auspices of the UNICEF, and co-edited (with Damayanti Basu Singh) a collection of essays on the emancipation of Bangladeshi women. She likes to travel and has been to many countries.

Several of her books are in the syllabus of universities such as Rabindra Bharati University, Jadavpur University, and the University of Assam. Her stories have been translated into English, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, Russian and French. Translated novels include Hangor, Nodi, Grenade (English, 1987 and Malayalam, 2001), Neel Mayurer Joubon (English, 1983), Tanaporen (English, 2000 and Urdu 2003).

In Hossain's writing one can sense her rage against the colonial rulers of undivided India, and the Pakistani hegemonic forces that had tried to subjugate the people of Bangladesh under their authoritarian sway. She is extremely vocal against all kinds of local patriarchal institutions and practices that try to suppress the voice of the subalterns of Bangladesh. The cause of the oppressed women and abused children of Bangladesh is yet another area of her genuine concern. Many of her fiction depict poverty stricken, uneducated women fighting against the prevalent structure of traditional families and marriages. She is one of the leading contemporary feminist writers of Bangladesh.

Hossain has received many awards-- Bangla Academy Puraskar, the British Council Fellowship at the University of London, and the Ford Foundation Individual Grant for fiction to name a few.

Published June 20, 2007

taken by Alisha Nilofar Bloom, when she was all of her five years of age!

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