Author: Leesa Gazi
Translated by Shabnam Nadiya
9789389648416 | PB | pp. 198 | 2020 | Westland
Hellfire is a captivation story about a family under the rule of a terrifying matriarch. Shabnam is allowed to go out to the market alone by her mother but it is indeed peculiar that she needs permission given she is now forty…
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Leesa Gazi’s Hellfire, translated from Bengali by Shabnam Nadiya, is set over one eventful day when Lovely is allowed by her mother to visit a nearby market alone on her birthday. The twist, however, is that Lovely is not a child who needs adult supervision, but a 40-year-old woman.
“Only Allah ta’ala Himself knew how this impossible had become possible today,” Lovely tells us.
The day goes into unexpected, chilling directions for Lovely and her family, especially mother Farida Khanam and sister Beauty, as Gazi’s compact novel unveils the insidious horrors of patriarchy in a seemingly close-knit family in Bangladesh.
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