The winning story was selected from 319 overall submissions
Bangladeshi fiction writer Mashiul Alam has won the Himal Short Story Competition 2019 for his short story “Milk”, according to an announcement published on Himal Southasian last Tuesday.
Translated by Shabnam Nadiya, the story has garnered praise from Himal editors who in their announcement has said, “The story took us on a journey of the imagination, a world unto itself. It is a story with so much of life in it—humans, animals, open fields; a social, a natural and a supernatural world—and yet with an eye for minute details and an arresting turn of phrase.”
About Nadiya’s elegant translation, they have said, “We marveled that the story is so lucidly told and the translation so seamless and beautiful in its retelling. Here, we felt, is a story being told to us, that could be spoken or written, that held us in its thrall and led us beyond ourselves.”
The winner, Mashiul Alam, is an eminent writer and translator who has published 12 novels. He works at Prothom Alo as Senior Assistant Editor. His Mangsher Karbar (The Meat Market), published in 2002, was given a warm reception by readers. His other books include, Abedalir Mrittur Por, Ghora Masud, Tanushreer Shonge Dwitiyo Raat, Nabilachorit, Baba, Jahangir Gate Khola Ache and Pakistan.
Shabnam Nadiya is a fiction writer and translator. She completed her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2012. Her writing and translations have been published in many internationally acclaimed magazines, anthologies and publications, including Wasafiri and Words Without Borders. She has translated Shaheen Akhtar’s novel Shokhi Rongomala as Beloved Rongomala, which has been published under the Library of Bangladesh series by Bengal Lights Books. Previously, her translation of Mashiul Alam’s story The Meat Market was published on Asymptote, a literary webzine based in Taiwan.
The winners will receive prize money of USD 500, split equally between writer and translator, and their story will be published at the launch of Himal’s new website in the New Year. We look forward to sharing the story with our readers.
The winning story was selected from 319 overall submissions from around the globe and a shortlist of 12 stories.
Himal Southasian is Southasia’s first and only regional news and analysis magazine. Currently based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Himal is now “in a digital-only avatar after 30 years of print run in magazine and quarterly formats”.