The Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley is honored to welcome Dr. Arif Anwar, author of The Storm, a novel that covers fifty years of Bangladeshi history in five love stories.
Abut the Book
Inspired by the 1970 Bhola Cyclone, in which half a million people perished overnight, The Storm seamlessly interweaves five love stories that, together, chronicle fifty years of Bangladeshi history.
Shahryar, a recent Ph.D. graduate and father of nine-year-old Anna, must leave the US when his visa expires. As father and daughter spend their last remaining weeks together, Shahryar tells Anna the history of his country, beginning in a village on the Bay of Bengal, where a poor fisherman and his Hindu wife, who converted to Islam out of love for him, are preparing to face a storm of historic proportions. Their story intersects with those of a Japanese fighter pilot, a British female doctor stationed in Burma during World War II, a Buddhist monk originally from Austria, and a privileged couple in Calcutta who leave everything behind to move to East Pakistan following the Partition of India. The structure of this riveting novel mimics the storm itself building to a series of revelatory and moving climaxes as it explores the many ways in which families love, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another.
At once grounded in history and fantastically imaginative, The Storm is a sweeping epic in the tradition of Khaled Hosseinis The Kite Runner and Rohinton Mistrys A Fine Balance by an immensely talented new voice in international fiction.
About the Author
Arif Anwar was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, just miles from the Bay of Bengal. He previously worked for BRAC, one of the worlds largest non-governmental organizations, on issues of poverty alleviation, and for UNICEF Myanmar on public health issues. Arif has a PhD in education from the University of Toronto. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife, Si (Sandra) Lian. The Storm is his first novel.
Established in 2013 with a generous gift from the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley champions the study of Bangladeshs cultures, peoples and history. The first of its kind in the US, the Centers mission is to create an innovative model combining research, scholarships, the promotion of art and culture, and the building of ties between institutions in Bangladesh and the University of California.