Hellfire


Synopsis for Hellfire by Leesa Gazi, translated by Shabnam Nadiya

Published in India by Eka Westland. All other rights available

For the sisters Lovely and Beauty, home is hell. Hellfire opens with Lovely's solo expedition to Gausia Market to buy fabric. It's her fortieth birthday which is possibly why her mother allowed her out by herself—for the first time in her life. Lovely's trip turns into a rebellious adventure during which she buys a knife, visits a park notorious for being sketchy, almost goes home with a strange man, and breaks the curfew imposed by her mother.

The story unfolds at a fast pace, spanning a day, allowing the reader access to the intimate lives of the family consisting of the two sisters, Lovely and Beauty, and their parents. The family is completely dominated by Farida Khanam, the mother. Trapped in a marriage with an impotent husband, Farida Khanam turns her daughters into virtual prisoners. They are routinely locked up with access to the outside world and other people only allowed at Farida Khanam's discretion. The fragile ecosystem that exists in this dysfunctional household shatters once Lovely begins to glean a secret shared by her sister and her mother.

About the Translator

Shabnam Nadiya is a Bangladeshi writer and translator, based in California. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, her work has been published in Flash Fiction International (WW Norton), One World (New Internationalist), Al Jazeera Online, Pank, Amazon's Day One, Chicago Quarterly Review, Weber: The Contemporary West, Wasafiri, Words Without Borders, and Gulf Coast. She has also translated Moinul Ahsan Saber's novel The Mercenary (Bengal Lights Books, 2016; Seagull Books, 2018); and Shaheen Akhtar's novel Beloved Rongomala (Bengal Lights Books, 2018; Seagull Books, 2019). Further information at: www.shabnamnadiya.com.

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