Sunday, November 30, 2014

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Source: Goodreads
Midnight's Children
by Salman Rushdie
Originally published 1981, I read 2013
647 pages, fantasy, history

A boy and his destiny

Saleem Sinai was born at the exact moment when India gained independence on August 15, 1947. This coincidence, he believes, binds his life and fate with that of the nation. It also gave him, and all of the other children born in that first hour of independence, special powers. Will these special children become the saviors of the new nation? Or will the nation turn against them? 

Read a sample or buy from Amazon: 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Adventures of Misfit Defne Kaman: Water by Buket Uzuner, Translated by Clare Frost and Alexander Dawe

Source: Everest Yayinlari
The Adventures of Misfit Defne Kaman: Water
by Buket Uzuner
Translated by Clare Frost and Alexander Dawe (from Turkish)
Originally published 2012, English edition 2014
376 pages, feminist fantasy, mystery

A Mystery Unfolding...

The police Sergeant Ümit Kaman is just counting down the minutes until his vacation and a chance to escape from the summer heat of the city when a missing person report draws him into a strange world in which anything is possible. The journalist Defne Kaman has disappeared, seemingly into thin air - many people watched her step onto a ferry, but no one saw her step off! Her mother and sister reassure the Sergeant that she disappears like this all the time, but her charismatic grandmother seems worried. She also seems to know more about the Sergeant than she has any right to know... such as his 2-year-old heartbreak over being separated from the woman he loves...

The plot thickens when the missing journalist appears before the Sergeant in a crowded street, silent and soaking wet, and thrusts a piece of paper into his hands before vanishing again. The paper is covered with codes... codes that might match the couplets of an ancient piece of Proto-Turkish literature that the Sergeant's friend Secondhand Semahat adores.... And then there is the dolphin that's acting strangely, and Defne's grandmother's strange influence - it can't just be charisma, can it?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Aguner Poroshmoni directed by Humayun Ahmed

Source: Wikipedia
Aguner Poroshmoni
Bangladesh (Bengali), 1995
123 min, war
Director: Humayun Ahmed
Aguner Poroshmoni (1995) on IMDb

The first film directed by the late Humayun Ahmed, a famous Bangladeshi novelist and director.

Caught in the middle of a genocide, one family struggles to survive

1971, East Pakistan: the Bengali guerilla fighters of the Mukti Bahini are engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the Pakistani army. In what was later termed a genocide, the Pakistani military had launched an operation to suppress the Bengali nationalist movement in May 1971. They targeted intellectuals, civilians, students, and activists, brutally murdering them and burying them in mass graves. Many women were captured and used as sex slaves by the soldiers. When the Bengali people realized what was happening, many fled to take refuge in India. Some returned with weapons as part of the Mukti Bahini, using acts of terrorism and guerilla warfare to counter the overwhelming Pakistani force. This struggle ended by the end of the year, with the result of Bangladesh gaining independence from Pakistan. The war, then, is called the Bangladesh Liberation War.

In the midst of this terrible situation, one family in Dhaka is trying to live life as normally as possible. But then the father brings home a man, a stranger that the family has never met before. They soon discover that he's a member of the Mukti Bahini. They must decide whether to help him and endanger themselves, or to make him leave and probably be killed. 

The full film (without English subtitles, unfortunately) on Youtube: