Nasrin started writing poetry when she was thirteen. While still at college in Mymensingh, she published and edited a literary magazine, SeNjuti ("Light in the dark"), from 1978 to 1983. She published her first collection of poems in 1986. Her second collection, Nirbashito Bahire Ontore ("Banished within and without", 1989) was a big success.. She succeeded in attracting a wider readership when she started writing columns in late 1980s, and then novels, for which she has won significant acclaim. In the early 1990s, she began writing novels. In all, she has written more than thirty books of poetry, essays, novels, short stories, and memoirs, and her books have been translated into 20 different languages.Even if one does not agree with everything that she has written, one can still respect her for her courage and principles. Whatever our own beliefs are, we must all defend, to the death, her right to free speech. In her own words:
Freedom of expression for some is not enough.
We must work for freedom of expression for all.
Human rights for some is not enough.
We must work for the human rights for all.
Peace for some is not enough.
We must work for peace for all.
I, come what may, will not be silenced.
Come what may, I will continue my fight for equality and justice without any compromise until my death.
Come what may, I will never be silenced.
And so must we.
Happy Birthday, Dr Nasrin! May you be happy and have peace wherever you are!
P.S. You can read the first part of her autobiography, My Girlhood, here, and the second part, My Stormy Youth, here. You can send her a birthday message on her Facebook page, here, and read more about her work here.
P.P.S. Here is a blog by Tamoso Deep, a fan of Taslima Nasrin.