Guest from Bangladesh


Interview: K Anis Ahmed

‘Great privilege’, says writer from Dhaka

K Anis Ahmed is a Bangladeshi writer based in Dhaka. He is a co-founder of Bengal Lights, Bangladesh’s most prominent new English literary journal. His first book of short stories, Good Night, Mr. Kissinger, was published in November 2012. His first novel, The World in My Hands, has been released only last month by Vintage (Random House India). In this brief chat, he talks about his experience at the Lahore Literary Festival 2014.

K Anis Ahmed
K Anis Ahmed


Q: How does it feel to be sharing the stage with so many other renowned writers and speakers?

A: A great privilege. I’ve had the chance to meet or be on panel with some of them by now in Hay Dhaka or at Jaipur – Mohammed Hanif, Nadeem Aslam and others. Meeting one’s favourite writers and in some cases even making friends with them, what could be better?

Q: What inspired you to come to Pakistan for the festival?

A: My father was a student in Lahore in the 1960s. I grew up hearing fond stories of that city. That’s one of my main reasons for wanting to come to Lahore. Besides, I had heard great things about this particular festival.

Q: Besides your sessions, what was it that you were particularly looking forward to at the Lahore Literary Festival?

A: Well, I was really keen to learn about the newest Pakistani writers, such as Bilal Tanweer and Saba Imtiaz. I was also keen to learn more about Pakistani cultural icons like Amrita Sher-Gill. I’m happy with the experiences. I’ve gleaned a lot about the culture from my interactions with the audience too.

Q: What is that one thing that you experienced in your interactions with the audience, particularly the younger lot?

A: A curiosity about Bangladesh. And great enthusiasm for literature!

Q: What in a nutshell was Lahore Literary Festival for you?

A: A chance to learn more about Pakistan’s progressive side – political and cultural, and its current robustness and challenges.


  1. he is one of the confident voices of Bangladesh. He knows his subject matters and there is no odd ramblings.That is why it is a pleasure to hear him speak, be it on a live stage, video or a radio talk. I am looking forward to hear him more especially on the literary festivals here or elsewhere. We can really be proud of him

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