Westland Books and Eka to publish Sushmita Bandyopadhyay’s memoir The Taliban and I, translated by Arunava Sinha

The book details Sushmita’s encounters with the Taliban evoking horrifying situations that are beyond the imagination

13 October 2023: Westland Books and Eka today announced the release of the translation of the hard-hitting Bengali memoir, The Taliban and I. Originally written in Bengali by Sushmita Bandyopadhyay, Taliban and I details her horrific encounter with the Taliban in Afghanistan in the late 1980s. The memoir presents a detailed account of her brave escape from the Talibani militants, even though it was short-lived, as she was presumably killed by the Taliban in 2013.

The original book was published in Bengali in 2000. This new translation is by award-winning translator and journalist, Arunava Sinha. The book is an explosive and incisive account of the extraordinary experiences of an unusual woman who ultimately became the victim of the very atrocities she has documented. This translation comes at an important moment in global political history as even a decade after her murder, the atrocities faced by the people of Afghanistan remain unchanged.

Talking about the translation, Minakshi Thakur, publisher Eka, said, “It’s a gusty account of a woman who reasserted her identity in a country where women cannot go out of their homes unaccompanied. In a hostile environment, she came into her own, turning from a newly-wed bride into a primary healthcare worker, helping the women around her, while the Taliban continued to persecute her with single-minded determination. This memoir is suspenseful, gut-wrenching, and deeply moving.”

Award-winning translator Arunava Sinha added, “I was both stunned and saddened by Susmita Bandyopadhyay’s life as she has written about it in this book. It’s a timely reminder of just how courageous a woman can be in the face of oppression”.

The Taliban and I will be published by Westland Books under the imprint Eka and will be available in online and offline stores from 16 October 2023.

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