|Postcards from Bangladesh
Sudeep Sen, Tanvir and Kelley Lynch
ISBN 984 05 1619 1 2003 304pp 265x210mm HB Tk.1800.00 US$60.00
Postcards from Bangladesh is an unique and personal account of Bangladesh as seen through the eyes of three creative professionals - Sudeep Sen, Tanvir, and Kelley Lynch-from three different countries. The book revolves around the idea and metaphor of a postcard - snapshots, snippets of life in one place that capture a moment in timereflecting something larger about the culture as a whole. It is not meant to be encyclopaedic or all - inclusive. Rather, it portrays what Bangladesh means to them from an alternate focal point - things off the beaten track, aspects left out of final frames, unused notes scribbled in the margins - all forming the glue that binds the book together. Postcards from Bangladesh traces journeys both interior and exterior using prose, poetry, and photography to create a poetic documentary - a film in freeze-frames.
The heart of Bengali culture-its sensibility and charm-is underscored in chapters that highlight the essential Bengali diet and livelihood provided by rice & fish; the unique six seasons of the Indian subcontinent, especially the monsoon rains; forests and trees; crafts and artefacts like rickshaw paintings; indigenous clothing like lungi and sari; the great rivers-the Padma, Meghna, Jamuna, and Buriganga; the nuances of religion; the bricks & mortar that form the country’s architectural backbone; and Bangladesh’s popular literature and music. All these seek to give the reader a sense of this country that is outside the purview of development manuals, disaster media stories, and government tourist guides.
Postcards from Bangladesh is the first book published in this country to creatively fuse literature and art, photography and documentary, travelogue and dialogue, prose and poetry into an organic narrative whole.
A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen. - Paul Valery
Sudeep Sen was born in New Delhi in 1964. As an Inlaks Scholar, he received an MS from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York. He has authored and edited 20 books, including Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins) which was awarded the Hawthornden Fellowship (UK) and nominated for a Pushcart Prize (USA). He has written for the Times Literary Supplement, Guardian, Independent, Financial Times, Observer, Harvard Review and BBC. He works and lives in London, New Delhi, and Dhaka with his wife Priti and their son Aria. [www.sudeepsen.com]
Kelley Lynch was born in 1965 in Houston, Texas. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Colorado (USA) and the University of Reading (UK). She works as an art director, designer, and editorthis is her first book. She has lived in Bangladesh for the past six years with her husband Tim and their children Josephine and Thomas.
Tanvir was born in 1968 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was a founder member of MAP Photo Agency with whom he was associated until 1998. Later that year he started his own photo agencyInscription. His photographs have been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. Postcards from Bangladesh is his first book. He lives in Dhaka with his wife Tania and their children Tauseef and Taheea.