Absurd Night, a Novel (Translated novel - 2019)

Library of Bangladesh Presents

Syed Manzoorul Islam

Absurd Night, a Novel

Translated By Pushpita Alam

Edited By Arunava Sinha


Publishing Year 2019

Published by ULAB Press.

ULAB Press, formerly known as Bengal Lights Books (BLB), is the publishing imprint of ULAB.



The discovery of a dismembered hand floating on the river incites uproar in a small coastal town, where a motley crew of outsiders, stranded at the local police station by an impending cyclone, becomes entangled in the mystery.

Cut off from the rest of the world, each of these interlopers is uniquely affected by the enigmatic object. Hidden emotions are shaken loose, secret skeletons and unfulfilled desires surface.

And all the while, in a village some distance away, the author spinning this tale and a one-eyed young boy both witness the true story behind the severed hand unfold.



Born in 1951, Syed Manzoorul Islam is one of Bangladesh’s leading fiction writers, as well as a preeminent academic, translator, columnist, and literary critic. Formerly a professor of English at the University of Dhaka, he is currently a member of the English faculty at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB).

Islam is perhaps the only Bangladeshi author who writes with equal ease and fluency in both Bangla and English. He has five novels and eight short story collections to his credit, including Prem O Prarthonar Golpo, which received the 2005 Prothom Alo Book of the Year award. In 2015, Islam published his first collection of short stories in English, The Merman’s Prayer and Other Stories.

Islam received the prestigious Bangla Academy Award for literature in 1996. In 2018, he received the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award in Bangladesh. He was also elected president of PEN Bangladesh the same year.