Mainus Sultan receives 2013 Book of the Year Award in Bangladesh

CIE graduate Mainus Sultan was honored with Prothom-Alo’s Best non-fiction Book of the Year Award, 2013.   This is a prestigious award given after a rigorous selection process and normally goes to a senior Bengali author.


The award was for his book titled  in Bengali  Zimbabwe: Boba Pathor Salanini which translates in English as Zimbabwe: Silent Rock, Salanini. Those who are familiar Zimbabwe’s history will understand the importance of stone in the visual images of the country and, also in the arts. The title refers to a young woman, Salanini, and her tragic difficulties.


In the book, Sultan relates the story of Salanini against  a backdrop of the current socio-political situation of human rights violations, hyper-inflation, political mismanagement and one party tyranny.  He collected data by using ethnography, phenomenological interviews, and, in some cases, informal conversational interviews.  Each episode was built around different characters based on personal observation and informants.  Background research was interwoven with the story of the individual struggles.


The book was organized into sixteen episodes and was written by adopting the travel-story format for non-academic readers.  Because of the emphasis on research to support the story, ti was classified as non-fiction.


The book is part of a series written using the same approach.  His book on Afghanistan is now in its fourth printing.  He has recently completed a book on Nicaragua set in the context of the Sandinista Revolution.  He is currently working on a book about South Africa. Each of these books has grown out of his experiences of living and working in the country portrayed. [5-14]


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