Humayun Ahmed (Bangla: হুমায়ূন আহমেদ) (born 1948 13 November 1948
Kutubpur, Mymensingh, Bangladesh) is arguably the most popular Bengali writer of fiction and drama, and had a “meteoric rise in Bangla literature” since the publication of his first novel, Nondito Noroke. A prolific writer, he has been publishing since the early 1970s. Formerly a professor of Department of Chemistry at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, he is now a full-time author and movie-maker.
Immediately following the publication of his debut novel, Ahmed emerged as the most prominent novelist and story-writer of Bengali literature since Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Humayun Ahmed’s books have been bestsellers. He has also achieved success as a screenwriter for television since the late 1980s. In the early 1990s, he entered the movie-world and proved to be a successful filmmaker in spite of clear departure from the trend of traditional Bangladeshi movies.
Humayun Ahmed often shows a fascination for creating stories around supernatural events; his style is characterized as magic realism. He is considered the father of modern Bengali science fiction, having published a great number of science fiction books. It is through him that the colloquial language of rural Mymensingh found a permanent seat in Bengali literature.
Humayun Ahmed was born to Foyzur Rahman (a writer) and Ayesha Foyez on 13 November 1948 in Kutubpur of Mymensingh district in then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Humayun Ahmed’s younger brother Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, a university professor, is a newspaper columnist and writer of children’s books and science fiction . Another brother, Ahsan Habib, is the editor of the only cartoon magazine of Bangladesh. Unmad.
Humayun Ahmed married Gultekin, granddaughter of Principal Ibrahim Khan, in 1973. They had five children, but were divorced in 2005, after which Ahmed married Meher Afroz Shaon, a young actress (and friend of his daughter) whom he had met when she was only 12 years old. These and other similar relations brought him much infamy.
Humayun Ahmed attended the Chittagong Collegiate School and Bogra Zilla School for his secondary education, then Dhaka College. After graduating from the University of Dhaka, Ahmed joined the department of chemistry in the same university as a lecturer. He obtained his PhD in polymer chemistry from North Dakota State University under the guidance of Professor Joseph Edward Glass. Ahmed retired from the University of Dhaka for the sake of writing and film-making. He is an honorary fellow in writing at the University of Iowa.
Humayun Ahmed explored the film industry both as an author and director. He directs films based on his own stories. His first film, “Aguner Parashmoni”, based on the Bangladesh Liberation War, received critical acclaim and won the National Film Award in eight categories, including Best Picture and Best Director. The theme of the Liberation War often comes across in his stories, often drawing upon Ahmed’s in-depth memories of that war.
Ahmed’s film Shyamal Chhaya received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. It was an entertaining moview with a storyline around the war of liberaiton war of 1971. The movie portrayed a realistic picture of the liberation war without malice and prejudice. Shaymol Chhaya has proved to be a captivating movie. In our polarised world where portraying practising Muslims negatively can bring international accolade very easily, Humayun Ahmed didn’t take advantage of the situation. Instead of exploiting that sick anti-Muslim sentiment, he preferred to illustrate a story that is unarguably very close to reality
* Bangla Academy Award 1981
* Shishu Academy Award
* Ekushe Podok 1994
* National Film Award (Best Story 1993, Best Film 1994, Best Dialogue 1994)
* Lekhak Shibir Prize (1973)
* Michael Madhusudan Medal (1987)
* Bacsas Prize (1988)
* Humayun Qadir Memorial Prize (1990)
* Jainul Abedin Gold Medal
* ShellTec Award (2007)