New Memoir of War Baby ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ of His Heritage

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Mustafa Chowdhury chronicles exodus from Bangladesh to Canada, recounts life after adoption

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In 1972, Canadian philanthropists from the Families For Children organization accompanied 15 Bangladeshi war babies – many of whom were premature infants – on a special flight to Canada, where they would be adopted and given new homes. This is just the beginning of their story, as Mustafa Chowdhury sets about “Picking Up the Pieces” (published by Xlibris) of his heritage, recounting the odyssey and what came after, his childhood, the care of his adoptive parents, his coming of age and how he reconnected with the other war babies.

The memoir begins with the wartime sexual violence in Bangladesh under Pakistani military occupation in 1971 where, because of enforced pregnancies, a large number of war babies were born. According to Chowdhury, though born under tragic circumstances, babies born as a result of rapes were seen as “undesirables” in Bangladesh. A group of ordinary Canadian couples took the lead to adopt them and readers will see how they were embraced by the adoptive families and where they grew up with love, affection and dignity. The inspirational efforts of the adoptive parents and the final outcome of their efforts outlined in the book provide a springboard for talking about interracial adoption. It also shows how the war babies’ traumatic lives that began 43 years ago as a result of war and violence became a life of dignity and accomplishment.

“It is the first historic book that deals with the birth and abandonment of the war babies within the context of the Liberation War of Bangladesh. In that sense, this book adds to the historiography of the Bangladesh`s struggle for independence where there had been a vacuum,” Chowdhury says. By telling his story, he turns what was once a historical footnote into a shining beacon of humanism and compassion, showing how extraordinary love and lives can come from the most desperate of times.

“Picking Up the Pieces”
By Mustafa Chowdhury
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 624 pages | ISBN 9781503514959
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 624 pages | ISBN 9781503514966
E-Book | 624 pages | ISBN 9781503514942
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Mustafa Chowdhury has graduate degrees in English Literature, Library and Information Science and Canadian History. He has worked for a number of key federal departments in his 34 years in Canada’s federal public service. Chowdhury is the recipient of several awards for his contributions to the public service and to his profession. Chowdhury lives in Ottawa with his wife Afroza, a professional in the federal public service. He has a son and daughter who also live in Ottawa.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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