Hellfire by Leesa Gazi

Hellfire by Leesa Gazi is one of the most scintillating debuts in contemporary Bengali literature. Translated by Shabnam Nadiya, the book has been published by Westland. It hit the shelves on 14th September 2020.

You can read more about the book here:

The holy Prophet received his revelations from the Creator at forty. Which meant that even in the eyes of Allah, ‘forty’ held some special meaning. Something special happened at forty, something special was going to happen.

For the sisters Lovely and Beauty, home is a cage. Their mother Farida Khanam never lets them out of her hawk-eyed gaze.

Leesa Gazi’s Hellfire opens with Lovely’s first-ever solo expedition to Gausia Market on her fortieth birthday. There will be many firsts for her today, but she mustn’t forget the curfew Farida Khanam has ordained. As Lovely roams the streets of Dhaka, her mother’s carefully constructed world begins to unravel. The twisted but working arrangements of a fragile household begin to assume a macabre quality as the day progresses.

Told in stark, taut prose, this grisly tale of a family born of a dark secret is one of the most scintillating debuts in contemporary Bengali literature.

About the Author

Leesa Gazi is a British-Bangladeshi writer, actor, scriptwriter, and filmmaker. She’s also the joint artistic director of a London based arts company, Komola Collective. She was the scriptwriter and performer on Six Seasons and A Golden Age at the Southbank Centre, London. Gazi’s recent play Aleya Twist is a Bengali adaptation of the British classic Oliver Twist. It has reimagined Oliver Twist as a young girl. Gazi also wrote, directed, and produced several CVE (Counter Violence Extremism) short films for a UK-based Counter-Extremism think tank in 2017 and 2019. Gazi was the concept-developer, co-writer, and performer on Birangona: Women of War, nominated for The Offies 2014, which she later developed into the documentary film called Rising Silence, on the lives of rape survivors in the aftermath of the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

Shabnam Nadiya is a California-based Bangladeshi writer and translator. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the recipient of the Schulze Fellowship (2013) at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; the Steinbeck Fellowship at San Jose State University (2019) for her novel-in-progress Unwanted; and a PEN/Heim Translation Grant (2020) for her translated manuscript of Bangladeshi writer Mashiul Alam’s short fiction.

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