Fakrul Alam

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Fakrul Alam
Fakrul Alam's photograph.jpg
Fakrul Alam at Bangla Academy, Dhaka, on 16 November 2013.
Born (1951-07-20) 20 July 1951 (age 66)
Occupation Professor, Writer, Translator
Language Bengali, English
Nationality Bangladeshi
Alma mater University of Dhaka
Notable awards Bangla Academy Literary Award (2013)

Dr. Fakrul Alam (Bengali: ফকরুল আলম, born 20 July 1951) is a Bangladeshi academic, writer, and translator.[1] He writes on literary matters and postcolonial issues and translated works of Jibanananda Das and Rabindranath Tagore into English.


Dr. Alam began his schooling at Little Jewels Kindergarten and later attended St. Joseph's School and spent his college days in Notre Dame College. He completed BA and MA in English at the University of Dhaka, earned a second master's degree from Simon Fraser University and achieved his PhD degree from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Academic career[edit]

Dr. Alam became a faculty member at the Department of English of the University of Dhaka after the liberation war of Bangladesh. As of today, he taught at several universities around the globe, including Clemson University, USA as a Fulbright Scholar, and Jadavpur University, India as a Visiting Associate Professor.[2] Besides academic responsibilities, he was also the Director of the Advanced Studies in the Humanities of the University of Dhaka from 1993 to 1996, and Adviser of the Dhaka University Central Library from 2002 to 2003. He is currently a member of the Education Policy Implementation Committee constituted by the Government of Bangladesh.[2] At present he also acts as an Advisor at the Department of English of East West University.[3]


Alam writes in a vibrant style with logical argumentation on literary matters that range from colonial to post-colonial literature.[4] For him, reading and writing are a living experience. He received widespread recognition as one of the best translators and foremost authorities of Jibanananda Das and Rabindranath Tagore.[5] Appreciating Alam's translation of Jibanananda Das, Syed Manzoorul Islam said "the sights and sounds of Bengal's landscape, its crowded botany and its constantly shifting lights and shadows find their way into Alam's translation".[6] In 2011 he edited The Essential Tagore in collaboration with Radha Chakravarty for Visva-Bharati University, India and Harvard University Press, USA.[7] Below is an excerpt of Alam's translation of "Amar Shonar Bangla" (My Bengal of Gold) by R.Tagore from The Essential Tagore:

"O mother, when I lay myself down at your feet;
Bless me with the dust that they tread, for they will bejewel me.
O mother dear, what little I have I will lay at your feet,
How fulfilling to stop adorning myself with foreign purchases,
To know that even the rope you provide for a noose can be my adornment!" (331)

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Unfinished Memoirs (translation of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's unfinished autobiography; Penguin Books, 2012)
  • The Essential Tagore (edited with R. Chakravarty; Harvard University Press, 2011)
  • Rabindranath Tagore and National Identity Formation in Bangladesh: Essays and Reviews (Dhaka:Bangla Academy, 2013)
  • Imperial Entanglements and Literature in English (Dhaka: Writer’s Ink, 2007)
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography: South Asian Writers in English. (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006).
  • Jibananada Das: Selected Poems, Translated with Introduction, Bibliography and Glossary (Dhaka: University Press Ltd., 1999).
  • Bharati Mukherjee, Twane's United States Authors Series (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995).
  • Daniel Defoe: Colonial Propagandist (Dhaka: University of Dhaka Publications, 1989).
  • "The ocean of sorrow", ( Translation of Mir Mosarrof Hossain's “Bishadh Shindhu").


  1. ^ "Essential Tagore nominated best book of year". Hindustan Times. Delhi. 29 November 2011. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Fakrul Alam University of Dhaka Faculty member profile" (PDF). Dhaka: University of Dhaka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Faculty". Dhaka: East West University. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Choudhury, Sirajul I. (June 2007). "Culture and Politics: A Review On Imperial Entanglement and Literature in English". Spectrum. University of Dhaka. 5. ISSN 1562-7195. 
  5. ^ Maniruzzaman, S. M. "Fakrul Alam's "Rabindranath Tagore and the National Identity Formation in Bangladesh": A Review". Dhaka: RTNN. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "In his literary world . ." The Daily Star. Dhaka. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Essential Tagore: A New Statesman Book of the Year, 2011". Harvard University Press. Retrieved 18 May 2012.