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Review no 141: A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh)

The only book that I’ve read which covers this area was Salaman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”. It sounds a curate’s egg- good in parts!

Reading and Watching the World: Books, Film and Art

FAR EAST, SOUTH ASIA AND AUSTRALASIA

First published in 2007, Tahmima Anam’s intimate civil war tale A Golden Age won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the Best First Book and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. The edition I read was published in 2012 as part of the Canongate ‘the Canons‘ list, which is a slightly strange mixture of ‘boundary-breaking’ books that Canongate decided either were already classics in their own right, or deserved to be. I’m not convinced the collection has aged that well, but it’s an audacious idea.

Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh (and now lives in the UK). This, her debut novel, is set in 1971 in East Pakistan, where Rehana Haque, a young widow, is throwing a party. Anam is great on description of food, Rehana is an excellent cook and the feast is described in loving detail. But civil conflict…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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