Numair Choudhury is the Bangladeshi Bolano’ AMITAVA KUMAR
Numair Atif Choudhury’s first and only novel, Babu Bangladesh!, published posthumously, was heralded as a sui generis masterpiece. In Taxi Wallah and Other Stories, we encounter more of Choudhury’s limitless imagination and deep empathy as he captures the many Bangladeshes that make up the nation.
The stories in this collection are bound by their protagonists – outsiders looking in – whether it is the taxi wallah of the title story who ferries tourists to upmarket hotels in Gulshan, the chokra for whom the streets of Dhaka are both sustenance and threat, Rabia the maid who feels compelled to call even the youngest of her employer’s children ‘Apa’, or the brick breaker who finds his life draining away as he hammers rubble at construction sites…
Fuelled by Choudhury’s trademark linguistic verve and energy, Taxi Wallah and Other Stories is a searing yet tender portrait of a country that is fractured but lets in light through the cracks.
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