Cover by Abdur Raouf
Original cover by Syed Waliullah
1948, Comrade Publishers 1st edition
LAL SHALU is the first novel written by Syed Waliullah and was published in 1948 by Comrade Publishers.
It is a classic of modern Bengali literature.
The story narrates how the fraudulent Majid preys upon the religious feelings of his fellow villagers by exploiting a mazar or tomb covered by a piece of lal shalu,
the red cotton fabric associated with ascetics and holy men.
The novel is set in the village of Mahabbatnagar and depicts the life of a rural Muslim community.
In 1963, the novel was translated in French as “L’arbre sans racines” by Anne-Marie Waliullah, the author's wife (Editions du Seuil).
In 1967, the novel was translated into English as “Tree Without Roots” by the author himself (Chatto and Windus).
The novel was also translated into Urdu, Arabic, Czech, Indonesian, German and Japanese.
It has been constantly published until today and was part of the The National Curriculum & Textbook Board (NCTB) textbook until now.
Syed Waliullah was conferred the Bengali Academy Award for this novel in 1961.
CHANDER AMABOSHAYA was written in 1964 in Paris. It is his second novel.
The story depicts Arif Ali, a young man of humble roots newly installed as a teacher in a village who happens to be the sole witness of a crime committed by an important villager. Using a existentialist approach, Waliullah thoroughlly analyses his dilemna and inner bitter struggle for the truth to win out and the justice to be, at the risk of destroying everything he built, even his life.
It was translated in english by Afia Dil in 2006 under the title "Night of no Moon".
The french version "La lune noire" translated by his late wife Anne-Marie Waliullah is not published yet.
KANDO NADI KANDO was written in 1968 in Paris. It is his third novel
It was translated in english by Osman Jamal in 2015 under the title "Cry River Cry".
THE UGLY ASIAN was written in english in the late 60s.
Syed Waliullah tried to publish it in the United States in 1965 in answer to "The Ugly American" by W. J. Ledere and E. Burdick (1958) but it was no longer actual.
It was only published in 2013.
The typescript of the novel is signed under a pseudonym Abu Sharya. He also used this name to sign HOW TO COOK BEANS.
It was translated in bengali by Shibabrata Barman in 2011.
Cover by Qayyum Chowdhury
HOW TO COOK BEANS was written in english under the pseudonym of Abu Sharya.
It takes place in Paris. It is an unfinished book and was published posthumously in 2012 after having been translated in bengali by Shibabrata Barman.
On the typed manuscrit, Syed Waliullah made some little sketches.