Saturday, April 17, 2010

An author's environmental concerns

Major contemporary political and socio-economic issues have never failed to stir renowned Bangladeshi writer Selina Hossain ever since she penned her first novel in 1971. Be it Bangladesh's Liberation War or exploitation of the poor or the plight of women in a male-dominated society, she has dealt with such issues in her works, including 21 novels and seven collections of short stories.

And now when climate change is a major global concern, 63-year-old Hossain is engaged with it too, in roles ranging from that of a writer to a social activist distributing relief in cyclone-hit areas. She has not only written short stories on the effects of global warming-induced natural disasters on the rural poor, especially women, but also ventured to an area to disburse relief to survivors of the cyclone Sidr in 2007. One of the writer's upcoming literary projects - a “big novel” on the plight of indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) - is partly prompted by the issue of environmental degradation and its effects on the lives of the locals.

Hossain stood out at the SAARC Literature Festival held recently at the India International Centre, as she was the only writer to talk about climate change issues and how literature can bring it into sharper focus among the masses.

Full report here Daily Star

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