Piazza Bangladesh by Neeman Sobhan
Piazza Bangladesh is an anthology of eleven short stories by Neeman Sobhan, an Italy-based writer. She has published extensively in The Daily Star and other journals. Neeman Sobhan’s anthology of short stories depict love, loss, lost innocence, reminiscence of past.
The stories, created by many ingredients like that of a pizza, make the book an delicious read for book lovers. The short stories crafted by Neeman Sobhan takes the readers to an imaginary space where the events are as real as possible. Since Sobhan has lived quite a long time abroad, most of her stories feature events which happened in Italy or other places where Bangladeshis live as expatriates.
The eleven short stories are titled as 1) The Girl from the Window Across, 2) Silver Tongue, Heart of Gold, 3) A minor Hour, 4) The Last Letter, 5) The Year of the Iron Dog, 6) Embers, Ashes, 7) The Perfect Groom, 8) A Bower in the Wilderness, 9) Green Chilli Smile, 10) Shadow Birds, and 11) Departures and Arrival.
The story “The Year of The Iron Dog” is about 1971 war where the protagonist reminisces about 1971 when she remembers that 1971 was the year of iron dog. The Chinese calendar tells that the year dominated by iron dog will see devastating war. The narrator ponders how the faith in Muslims broke down when Muslim rulers were gruesomely the Muslim citizens. The story ends with her mother’s scream after the death of her brother.
Not only this story but each of the other stories is equally well-crafted with deep insight. Written in English than now a day many people speak by using one word two word in Bangla in an English sentence, make the language of the book seem to be told by an familiar voice. This is what makes Neeman Sobhan’s stories adorable to a reader.