Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Favorite Books 6

Book Review Pearl S. Buck, The Mother, Two Women, Alberto Moravia, La Ciociara, Nilima Ibrahim, Ami Birangona Bolchi
Book: The Mother
Author: Pearl S. Buck (American, 1892-1973)

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Original Language: English
Year: 1933
Category: Fiction/Drama

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Summary: The mother is a peasant wife whose husband left the family and never came back. She had emotional torments inside fighting alone, waiting for her husband, but she takes good care of her mother-in-law and sons and a blind daughter. She brings in false letters from her husband to keep her respect in the village. Occasionally she feels the hotness of youth and feels for her husband. Eventually one day she had to have an illicit sexual event with a tax collector. But she kills the unwanted baby by abortion with medicines and became very weak physically. Her elder son takes the responsibility of the house, and the younger one gets involved in the secret communism movements which nobody knows. Her elder son gets married and she feels the loss of her position as the chieftain of the house. She eventually had bigger blows from the fates of her younger son and daughter. Even it looks like she is fateless all through her life, but at last she found something to grab and she feels she is not so fateless like it shows. It is the hope of joy that keeps us alive amidst all our troubles.

Comment: Pearl S. Buck lived in China for a long period of time in her early years. She won Noble prize in literature in 1938 for her contemplative portrayal of Chinese peasant lives. This book was one of the influential factors for her to win the Noble prize. The book immensely portrays the hardship of a helpless woman who fights throughout her life where her smiles are mostly covered with griefs. I remember someone through the story. The story is a melancholic one, but certainly a wonderful piece of creation. Excellent collection.

Link: No ebook available. Please purchase the paper book. Your bookshelf won't regret having a masterpiece in its collection.

Bangla translated hard-bind is available at Aziz Super Market bookstores at Shahbagh, Dhaka. Price less than 200 BDT.


Book: Two Women (Original Italian title 'La Ciociara')
Author: Alberto Moravia (Italian, 1907-1990)

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Original Language: Italian
Year: 1958
Category: War

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Summary: This is the story of a widow and her daughter surviving through the horrors of the Second World War. The mother Cesira, and the daughter Rosetta who fled to their native village Ciociara (interestingly, 'Ciociara' in Italian means 'Two Women' which is the Italian title of the book (checked in google translate)). Rosetta was a devout and a young beauty all through her life. At the end of the war, unfortunately Rosetta was brutally raped by a gang of allied soldiers. After this, she lost her faith in religions and God and became comfortably numb to follow a promiscuous sexual life like a prostitute.

Comment: This is a very nice book that portrays the pain and anguish a war brings to mankind. Being an Italian (which was allied with Hitler), Moravia made the allied soldiers villain. But that's not the point (well, whoever finds a way to oppose someone s/he dislikes, s/he mostly goes for it, for example in many hollywood movies, Russians are villains). The ugly face of war is the same no matter who you are, what you do. It brings the same misfortune to mankind in all its way, and especially to young women to whom being raped seems to be sealed in their fate, no matter what the outcome of the war is. There is a 1960 Italian film of the same title (La Ciociara) for which Sophia Lauren (played Cesira) won Academy Award for the Best Actress.

Link: No ebook available. Please purchase the original paperback.

Bangla translated hard-bind is available at Aziz Super Market bookstores at Shahbagh, Dhaka. Price less than 200 BDT.


Book: Ami Birangona Bolchi (Translate as 'Saying a War-Heroine, I')
Author: Nilima Ibrahim (Bangladeshi, 1921-2002)

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Original Language: Bangla
Year: 1997 (Merged Edition)
Category: War/Crime

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Summary: This is collection of 7 different stories from 7 different rape-victims of Bangladesh liberation war. It tells you the stories of their lives in and out of the war. It tells you how they were raped by Pakistani armies, as well as by Bangladeshi people - by their own family, kiths and kins. It is like they have fallen into the burning fire from
a heated cauldron - like they just changed place to be raped once again. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman embraced them as 'Birangona' (heroine), but the foolish people around took them as 'barangona' (prostitute). Their pathetic fate only bruised them inside and out thorughout their lives - there was seldom anybody to sympathise with them.

Comment: It was a great effort by Dr. Nilima Ibrahim to capture the lives of the raped women in Bangladesh liberation war. It perfectly tells you what a social and societal rape is. They had to survive on their own. They knew that they would not be accepted in this rotten society. Many of them had to suicide as they could not fight anymore. Some of them fought on their own and eventually established themselves outside the country. But unfortunately the people who could not save them, could not later hug them with love. I see those people more unfortunate who missed the opportunity to accept these women - who are as precious as gems and goddesses. I would rather say try to stare at the big blue sky for the rest of your life and try to make your heart as big as the sky. I completely hate this attitutde. Sadly, there is no book yet that shouted against this. I only read one book by Md. Jafar Iqbal where this odd bit was shown in some two sections - but anyway may be that was small, but that was very powerful (I forgot the title - please check later mails).
No English translation is available.

Bangla hard-bind is available at Aziz Supermarket bookstores at Shahbagh, Dhaka. Price less than 250 BDT.

Let us buy paper books. Let's enrich our mind and home library.

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