Epistolary literature’s popular appeal stems from the sense of immediacy, intimacy, and realism offered by the genre, which is usually not found in other genres.
Like in the West where epistolary literature became popular long before the introduction of the postal system, good epistolary works — books written either entirely or mostly in letters — attract a sizeable number of bookworms, said publishers.
In Bangla literary tradition, Rabindranath Tagore made epistolary well-known through his creations, including Russiar Chithi, Europe Probasir Potro and Chhinnopotro.
Dhaka University professor and writer Syed Manzoorul Islam told New Age that many litterateurs in the golden age of Bangla literature had inspired bookworms to write letters to their dear ones.
‘A letter contained not only messages but also anointed dialogues between the sender and the receiver,’ he said.
Litterateurs’ letters, often personal, attract readers because the written documents contain stories and events of aesthetic value while giving the readers a feeling of communicating with the author, Manzoorul said.
Ittadi Grantha Prakash publisher Aditya Antor said that Amar Ekushey Book Fair visitors, especially bookworms, often searched for epistolary literature though the trend of writing letters had faded in recent times.
Ittadi has published Hasan Azizul Huq-authored Amar Ilias where four letters written to the author in 1981-1984 by celebrated novelist Akhtaruzzaman Ilias has been included.
Khasru Parvez-translated Madhusudaner Chithi was also in Ittadi stall on the Suhrawardy Udyan premises.
Journeyman Books has published Praner Patrabali, a compilation of letters written to Ekushey Padak and Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroskar winning writer Belal Chowdhury by several famous litterateurs from Bangladesh and India. Tarik Sujat and Pias Majid have edited the publication.
Bengal Publication has brought out Protik Bardhan-translated Christopher Beninger’s Letters to a Young Architect while Gatidhara has published Prempotrer Itikotha authored by Razzak Hawlader.
Intamin Prakashani has published Saikat Kumar Datta-authored Kannarao Kandte Jane, a collection of 17 letters. Last year, it published Nandita Chithir Sukhdukkho, a collection of 35 letters, authored by Kamrunnahar Munni and Saikat.
Afsar Brothers and Pratik Prakashana Sangstha have reprinted Tagore’s Europe Probasir Potro.
On Monday, filmmaker Animesh Aich and actor Ashna Habib Bhabna launched their two novels, Shohorer Bar e Ekdal Matal and Gulnehar, published by Tamralipi.
On the 12th day of the fair, 126 new titles hit the stalls with 33 collections of poems leading the tally, followed by 21 novels and 18 books of short stories.
Publishers expect a huge crowd today with visitors aiming to celebrate the first day of Bangla month Phalgun.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country