Bangadesh’s most popular writer, Humayun Ahmed, died yesterday at a hospital in New York while undergoing cancer treatment. He was 64. In a condolence message, President Zillur Rahman said that Ahmed’s works would remain immortal among readers of Bengali literature. In 1972, while still a student at Dhaka University, Ahmed wrote his first novel, Nondito Noroke (“The Acclaimed Hell”), which brought him popular and critical acclaim. His second novel, Shankhanil Karagar (“The Conch-Blue Prison”), was equally successful, but Ahmed went on to obtain his doctorate in chemistry in the United States at North Dakota State University. He taught at Dhaka University, the country’s highest educational institution, before returning to writing. His major literary awards included the Bangla Academy Award (1981) and Ekushey Padak (1994). Ahmed’s debut film, Aguner Parashmoni (1995) won eight National Film Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. He also wrote several popular TV dramas. Fellow Bangladeshi writer Anisul Haque called Ahmed's death a “great loss.” He is survived by his second wife, Shaon, and their two sons, and by his first wife, Gultekin, and their three daughters and son. Ahmed’s body is reportedly at a funeral home in Jamaica, New York, and will arrive in Bangladesh on Sunday.
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