Place of birth
Place of residence
United Kingdom
National identity
United Kingdom

Manzu Islam

Short biography
Syed Manzurul (Manzu) Islam was born in 1953 in a small northeastern town in East Pakistan (later Bangladesh). He has a doctorate and was Reader in English at the University of Gloucestershire, specialising in postcolonial literature and creative writing.

His writing grows out of his memories of Bangladesh and the experience of working as a racial harassment officer in East London at the height of the National Front provoked epidemic of ‘Paki-bashing’ which terrorised the lives of many Bangladeshis and other Asians in the area. Experiences from these years fed into the stories in The Mapmakers of Spitalfields, which reflect both the trauma of racism, but also the creativity and achievement of Bangladeshis remaking their lives in Britain. Equally, the stories that reflect on memories of Bangladesh focus both on the bloody atrocities of the civil war which brought Bangladesh independence from Pakistan and of a rich culture which sustains the exiled imagination in the deepest ways.

He is also the author of The Ethics of Travel: from Marco Polo to Kafka (Manchester University Press, 1996) which explores the question: how is it possible for us to encounter those who are different from us - racially, culturally and geographically - and what are the consequences of such encounters?