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Tahmima Anam biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Tahmima Anam
Photo: Abeer Y Hoque

Tahmima Anam

How to pronounce Tahmima Anam: Emphasis on the second syllable of last name

Tahmima Anam Biography

Tahmima Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1975 and grew up in Paris, New York and Bangkok, due to her father's career with UNESCO

Tahmima Anam attended Harvard University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology. In 2005 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, London, and is the recipient of a Writing Fellowship from the Arts Council of England.  Anam's first book, A Golden Age is the first in a planned trilogy that brings to life the creation of her native country. A Golden Age was the winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. Anam lives in London and Dhaka.



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Interview

Tahmima Anam discusses her first novel, A Golden Age, set during the 1970s Bangladesh War of Independence.

Did you always want to be a writer? You have a Ph.D. in social anthropology— do you ever consider returning to the academic world?

I wasn't a very devoted academic—I found the idea of writing something that had to stick to a certain notion of truthfulness very difficult. Anthropology is certainly the most literary of the social sciences, and yet one still has to adhere to a loose sense of  "what really happened." I wanted a genre that would allow me to tell my readers something about what it was like to have lived through the Bangladesh war, something visceral and palpable. In this case, not having to stick to the facts really enabled that act of the imagination.

Having said all of that, I miss being part of an academic institution. I spent so many years in grad school that I now fi nd myself feeling a bit lost when September rolls around and there aren't any classes to attend. And I love to teach, so perhaps someday I will teach creative writing.


Where do you write? Do you tend to follow a strict work schedule or write in spurts of activity?

What I'm about to tell you is very odd, I know, but it happens to be true: I wrote almost all of A Golden Age ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Tahmima Anam at BookBrowse
The Bones of Grace jacket The Good Muslim jacket A Golden Age jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tahmima Anam but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Monica Ali

    Monica Ali

    Monica Ali is the daughter of English and Bangladeshi parents.

    She came to England at the age of three, and her first home was Bolton in Greater Manchester. Ali later studied at Oxford University.

    Her first novel, Brick ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Golden Age

    Try:
    Brick Lane
    by Monica Ali

  • Kiran Desai

    Kiran Desai

    Kiran Desai was born in India in 1971, she lived in Delhi until she was 14, then spent a year in England, before her family moved to the USA.  She completed her schooling in Massachusetts before attending Bennington ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Golden Age

    Try:
    The Inheritance of Loss
    by Kiran Desai

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