Beyond the Book: Background information when reading A Golden Age

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A Golden Age

by Tahmima Anam

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam X
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 288 pages
    Jan 2009, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

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About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

First-time novelist Tahmima Anam has written for The New York Times, Granta and The New Statesman. Links to some of her articles are provided on her website. Her father, Mahfuz Anam, is the editor of The Daily Star, Bangladesh's foremost English language daily newspaper and chairman of a Bangladeshi NGO called the Freedom Foundation. Her grandfather was journalist, politician and writer Abul Mansur Ahmed, who founded the Bangladesh Awami League and was imprisoned for four years between 1958 and 1962 when martial law was declared.

In an interview on NPR, Anam explains that her main character, Rehama, is based on her own grandmother's experience and that one of the other main characters is based on her uncle.

The Bangla2000 web portal offers a short history of Bangladesh and the BBC offers a thorough country profile.

Urdu poetry is woven into the novel, appearing at least twice at crucial moments in the lives of Anam's characters. James Madison University Library's website currently features an online multimedia exhibit of Urdu poetry. After clicking here, scroll down and choose “Urdu Poetry Readings” to view the presentation.

The Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report was produced following Pakistan's investigation of the events between March 1971 and December 1971 in Bangladesh. A site dedicated to the history of Pakistan offers detail about the creation of the report.

Citizens of Bangladesh consider the actions of the Pakistan Army during the 1971 conflict to be genocide. There are many links on the Virtual Bangladesh website available to further explore Bangladesh's journey to independence.

More Interesting Links:

  • Browse BookBrowse member reviews of A Golden Age.
  • An interview with Tahmima Anam in the Guardian newspaper.
  • An article about Anam in the Telegraph.
  • Another article about Anam from Bangladesh publication SLATE.
  • For those who like to fully immerse themselves in their reading - recipes for Bangladeshi dishes!

Article by Stacey Brownlie

This article was originally published in January 2008, and has been updated for the January 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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