Amar Ekushey Book Fair: Humayun Ahmed remains star of the show

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Amar Ekushey Book Fair

Kamrul Hasan Robin, a young buyer at the fair, told the Dhaka Tribune that Humayun Ahmed is such a writer that his body of work can be read over and over again

Eight years have gone by since Humayun Ahmed, one of the most popular writers of Bangladesh, passed away.

However, death could not stop the juggernaut that is Humayun Ahmed as his books are still fan-favourites. Readers and publishers think that the prolific author’s books are still running the show at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.

Kamrul Hasan Robin, a young buyer at the fair, told the Dhaka Tribune that Humayun Ahmed is such a writer that his body of work can be read over and over again. 

“I developed my reading habit with Humayun Ahmed’s books. I am buying a collection of his works today despite having read them all. It is worth keeping in my collection,” he said. 

Anyaprokash publication has been publishing Humayun Ahmed’s books for almost 20 years.

Sirajul Kabir Chowdhury, managing editor of the publishing house, told this correspondent that they have around 130 books of the author this year at their bookstall at the fair.

“People tend to say Humayun Ahmed’s work is easy to read and that is the reason behind his huge fan-following. But I think it is his unique style of writing which made him a great writer of our time,” said Sirajul.

Humayun wrote for people of all ages, genders, and social classes, said Sirajul, explaining why the writer’s books are in high demand among readers even today.

Sharing an anecdote, Sirajul told the Dhaka Tribune: “One day I saw Humayun Ahmed’s eyes filled with tears while reading one of his own novels. Such is the beauty of his work.”

The celebrated author’s iconic characters like Himu and Misir Ali still appeal to readers.

Md Mizan, a stall attendant at Anannya Publications, said people are buying Himu and Misir Ali collections more than any other books from their stall.

Nazim Uddin, a student at Dhaka University, said: “Himu is my favourite character. I wanted to be like him when I was a teenager but I just did not have the courage.”

Humayun Ahmed was born on November 13, 1948.

He authored over 200 books, many of which were best sellers, while eight were made into movies. He was not only a writer, but a dramatist, screenwriter, filmmaker, songwriter, scholar, and lecturer as well.

He won the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1981, Ekushey Padak in 1994, and three National Film Awards.

He passed away on July 19, 2012, after a nine-month battle against colon cancer.