‘Fragments of Riversong’ showcases a dozen masterfully-crafted tales that bring alive the beauty, chaos and contradictions of contemporary Bangladesh. Here are scenes from lives less often examined.A visa applicant at the US Embassy struggles with her conscience. Strange things happen when a street child finds his life intersecting with those of a wealthy housewife and a teenage schoolgirl. A guava tree becomes a source of conflict between an unorthodox grandmother and her stubborn grandchild. A successful architect suddenly finds herself the reluctant guardian of two children. A young man returns to his village in order to come to terms with bereavement. A Bangladeshi-American schoolgirl learns a hard lesson. A confident urbanite grapples with the challenges of a rural environment during a field trip. A dream holiday takes a disastrous turn for two friends. Revenge manifests in an unusually creative form within an unhappy marriage. A young child realises she must depend on herself to survive. The search for love remains oddly familiar in a dystopian future.Like fragments from an emerging mosaic, these stories fit together to illustrate the transformation of a once-rural, riverine land into its more recent incarnation, telling the stories of the country through the voices of its people.
Farah Ghuznavi is a writer, translator and newspaper columnist, with a background in development work. A glutton for punishment, she holds three University degrees from the London School of Economics.
Farah’s work has been widely-anthologised in the US, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Singapore, India, Nepal and her native Bangladesh. Her story Judgement Day was Highly Commended in the Commonwealth Competition 2010, and Getting There placed second in the Oxford GEF Competition.
She is currently Writer in Residence with Commonwealth Writers, and has recently edited Lifelines, an anthology of new Bangladeshi writing for Zubaan Books, India.
Farah has been a panellist at the South Asian Literature Festival (UK), Ncell Nepal Lit Fest, and the Apeejay Kolkata Lit Fest, CALM Fest Shillong, Kolkata Lit Meet (KLM), Lit for Life Chennai and the Bangalore Literature Festival in India. She is also on the organising committee of the Hay Festival Dhaka.