Dhaka: Ananya, 1997.
First printing. 96 pp., 8vo. Sewn signatures in illustrated wrappers. Translated from the Bengali by Kabir Chowdhury. Light marking to covers, and mild corner bump, otherwise very good. Inscribed to Steve Lacy and Irene Aebi. Item #3834
Taslima Nasreen, born in Bengladesh in 1962, is a feminist and humanist writer, physician, and activist who has been the object of violent campaigns of intolerance from fundamentalists and extremists in her own country and elsewhere. Exiled in 1994, physically attacked, her books banned and burned, and the subject of fatwas and death threats, she has continued to write and speak out. She has written forty books in Bengali, including novels, essays, and seven volumes of autobiography (so far), but she began as a poet, and has published thirteen books of poems. Composer and soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy wrote settings for English translations of Nasreen’s poems in his “jam opera” The Cry, recorded and released in 1999 — the same year in which Nasreen warmly inscribed this selection to Lacy and his wife Irene Aebi, the vocalist for whom the settings were written. (In this early inscription, Nasreen has misspelled Aebi’s name as “Irine”; in books inscribed later, she got the spelling right.) A truly poignant association.