Daughter of the Agunmukha book launch

October 29, 2023 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Politics and Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Daughter of the Agunmukha book launch @ Politics and Prose
Join us for the book launch of Noorjahan Bose’s “Daughter of the Agunmukha” at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC, on Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 3 pm. Noorjahan Bose will be joined by local activists Sunu Chandy and Krittika Ghosh along with the book’s editor Monica Jahan Bose. Books will be available for purchase and signing. We hope you will come and celebrate this major accomplishment with Noorjahan, who turned 85 earlier this year.
Also please support our wonderful local bookstore, which is hosting this official event.
How does a girl from a tiny Bangladeshi island end up reading Tagore, Marx, and de Beauvoir and become a leading feminist campaigner?
This is the riveting personal story of Noorjahan Bose, born in 1938 in present-day Bangladesh to a farming family, near the mouth of the ferocious River Agunmukha—Fire Mouth River. Abused by male relatives and raised by a mother who was herself a child bride, Noorjahan struggled for her education and autonomy. Nurtured joyfully and creatively by her mother, and mentored by local activists, she found her way into the progressive movements that would one day take her around the world. From the pain of partition to her husband’s death when she was only 18 and pregnant, to the devastating cyclones threatening her family’s home and livelihood, Noorjahan’s life has not been easy. Yet her courage shines through the pages of her memoir, whether she is promoting Bangla language rights, enduring Bangladesh’s liberation war, or marrying outside her family’s faith. This moving, gripping book tells a powerful story of trauma, loss, resilience and empowerment.
Translated by Rebecca Whittington and edited by Monica Jahan Bose.
NOORJAHAN BOSE – Noorjahan Bose (she/her) is a feminist writer, social worker, and activist, living between the US and Bangladesh. She is the founder of two US-based organizations to empower South Asian women, ASHA (now Ashiyanaa) and Samhati. She has a BA (Honors) in Bangla literature from Dhaka University and a Masters in Social Work from Catholic University in Washington DC. She worked for many years as a social worker with refugees and the elderly at Catholic Charities, with foster children for Prince Georges Country, MD, and with ICU patients at DC General Hospital. She also founded the first Bangla School in the DC area, running it out of her home for more than 10 years.
Her first book, the autobiography Agunmukhar Meye, was published in 2009 in Bangladesh, after coming out in serial form in the Janakantha newspaper. The book became a bestseller, and in 2009 was named one of the top 10 books in Bangladesh. In 2010, Noorjahan received the Anannya Prize for the book, given to one woman writer every year in Bangladesh. The book has been the subject of numerous reviews and panel discussions in Bangladesh and India. In 2011, Ananda Publishers brought out a new edition of the book in India. In 2016, the book won Bangladesh’s highest honor, the Bangla Academy Literary Award (autobiography). Noorjahan has also published several travelogues and other books. The translation “Daughter of the Agunmukha” was published in 2023 by Hurst Publishers in the U.K. with distribution in the US by Oxford University Press.
SUNU P. CHANDY- Sunu P. Chandy (she/her) is currently a Senior Advisor with Democracy Forward, supporting work across the teams to defend and build measures towards a more inclusive democracy and to disrupt the policies that oppose this goal. Sunu is also the author of an award-winning collection of poems, My Dear Comrades, published by Regal House in 2023, and has created a wide-ranging book tour alongside other authors, artists, and activists. Sunu is also a proud member of the board of directors for the Transgender Law Center, and was honored to be included as one the 2021 Queer Women of Washington.
Before joining Democracy Forward in September 2023, she served as the Legal Director of the National Women’s Law Center for six years. She led the Center’s litigation efforts by expanding both the Center’s direct litigation and amicus brief program, and there she coauthored several briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sunu provided guidance for the Center’s policy positions towards greater workplace justice, and often led the Center’s LGBTQ+ rights policy work including through testifying before the U.S. Congress. Before NWLC, Sunu led civil rights work through a range of government positions including as the Deputy Director for the Civil Rights Division with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as the General Counsel of the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR), and for 15 years as a federal litigator with the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the New York District Office. Sunu began her legal career as a law firm associate representing unions and individual workers in New York City at Gladstein, Reif and Megginniss, LLP. Sunu is cited as a legal expert on workplace civil rights laws, gender justice and LGBTQ+ rights including by The New York Times, The Washington Post, LA Times, Ms. Magazine, the Advocate, CSPAN, NBC, ABC and NPR.
Sunu earned her B.A. in Peace and Global Studies/Women’s Studies from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and later, her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Queens College/The City University of New York in 2013. Sunu’s creative work can also be found in publications including Asian American Literary Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Poets on Adoption, Split this Rock’s online social justice database, The Quarry, and in anthologies including The Penguin Book of Indian Poets, The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood and This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation.
KRITTIKA GHOSH – Krittika Ghosh (she/her) is the Executive Director of the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP). She has extensive experience working on gender-based violencein the US and Canada for the past 21 years. Krittika’s experience includes developing innovative programming on prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) in immigrant and refugee communities through transformative education and outreach campaigns such as the development of graphic novels and photo novels highlighting sexual violence, development of trauma art therapy workshops and peer engagement in responding to GBV. She has deep experience in community engagement, policy development and program management. Krittika was a founding member of Ontario’s Provincial Violence against Women’s round-table and provided feedback to policies on the government’s GBV related policies. Krittika is also a co-founder of the Shakti Peer group, a peer-based group responding to gender-based violence in New York City.
Krittika has been recognized for her work by the City of New York, The Filipino Women’s Network, was one of Mother Board Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2017 for her work in ending gender-based violence and is the recipient of the 2021 Imagene Stewart Surviving Sprit Award. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Simmons University, Boston, and with a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
MONICA JAHAN BOSE- Monica Jahan Bose(she/her) is a Bangladeshi-American artist and climate activist whose work spans painting, printmaking, film, performance, public art, and writing. Her ongoing collaborative project STORYTELLING WITH SARIS with women farmers from her mother’s ancestral village has travelled to 11 US states and seven countries and engaged thousands of people. Her work has appeared in the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, Art Asia Pacific, the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Japan Times, and all major newspapers in Bangladesh. She is a board member of Samhati and currently manages the Katakhali eco-empowerment project. She was the editor of Daughter of the Agunmukha. She has a BA in the Practice of Art (Painting) from Wesleyan University, a post-graduate Diploma in Art from Santiniketan, India, and a JD from Columbia Law School.

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