|Night of No Moon
Translated by Afia Dil and Foreword by Kabir Chowdhury
ISBN 984 32 3045 0 2006 144pp 220x140mm HB Tk.350.00 US$23.00
Syed Waliullah’s Chander Amabasya (1964), rendered by Afia Dil as Night of No Moon, narrates the story of a young man whose world of innocent dreams collapses when he is forced to enter the world of experience. Arif Ali, a young man of twenty-four, has come from a village to work in a primary school in a small mofussil town. One dark night he stumbles upon the dead body of a murdered woman. His romantic idealism and his love of life keep him from acknowledging stark reality and he even thinks of forgiving the murderer whom he knows. But this very love of life and loyalty to truth finally give him the courage to expose the murderer though he realizes that by doing so he is signing his own death warrant. A brilliant, though dark, story looking into the depths of the human soul, Night of No Moon is a significant addition to Bangladeshi literature in translation and a must read for everyone interested in the study of human problems.
Syed Waliullah was born on August 15, 1922 at Sholashahar in Chittagong. He was educated at Ananda Mohan College in Mymensingh and University of Calcutta. He worked in The Statesman (Calcutta) from 1945 to 1947. After the Partition, he moved to Dhaka and joined Radio Pakistan as assistant news editor. In 1950, he was posted to Radio Pakistan, Karachi. From 1951 to 1960 he served as press attaché at Pakistan missions in New Delhi, Sydney, Jakarta and London. In 1960, Waliullah moved to Paris where he served as first secretary at the Pakistan Embassy till 1967 when he joined UNESCO. He passed away in Paris on October 10,1971.
Syed Waliullah’s first novel, Lal Shalu (1948), was followed by two other novels: Chander Amabasya (1964) and Kando Nadi Kando (1968). He also wrote short stories, some of which have been anthologized in Nayan Chara (1951) and Dui Tir O Anyanya Galpa (1964). He also wrote plays, among them Taranga Bhanga (1964), which was translated by Afia Dil as The Breakers (1985). Waliullah received several literary awards, including the Ekushey Padak posthumously.
Afia Dil was born in Dhaka. She received her B. A. Honours and M. A. degrees in English Literature from the University of Dhaka and Master’s in English and Applied Linguistics from University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford University. She was professor and Chairperson of English Department at Eden Girls College, Dhaka for several years. She has taught in various colleges and universities in the United States. At present she is Professor Emeritus at Alliant (former U.S.) International University, San Diego, California. Apart from several books and research papers in Bangla and English she has translated Syed Waliullah’s Taranga Bhanga, which was published by the Bangla Academy as The Breakers. With Anwar Dil she has co-authored 740-page book, Bengali Language Movement to Bangladesh (2000), hailed as the most judicious research work on the creation of Bangladesh as a nation-state.