THE WORLD'S TOP Authors Bangladesh - Tahmima Anam ANNIVERSARY Issue 201314 JPG





Tahmima Anam




The child of a diplomat, Tahmima Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but grew up in Paris, Bangkok and New York.  She earned a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University, and a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway in London.


Ms. Anam wanted to teach the world about Bangladesh through her writing.  Although she did not grow up in the country, throughout her life she had heard about the nine-month war of independence, which separated West and East Pakistan into Pakistan and Bangladesh, from her parents and their friends.  Although she initially intended to write an epic, large-scale novel, she ultimately decided to write about what it was like for ordinary people when an unexpected war descended upon their lives and what they did to survive. 


Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, A Golden Age was the first of a planned trilogy that she hoped would teach people about her native country and the vicious power of war.  In order to write the book, she interviewed over a hundred survivors of the war in Bangladesh so that she could try to understand how the war impacted their lives.  The novel does not focus on the violence of war; instead it presents a theme of love – love of parents, of country, of siblings – and the relationship between love and sacrifice.  Her second book of the trilogy, entitled The Good Muslim, continues the theme of the creation of Bangladesh, following the lives of one family as they deal with the challenges of peace after fighting in the horrific war.

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