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The Good Muslim

The Good Muslim

Tahmima Anam

  • awardShortlisted, DSC Prize For South Asian Literature, 2013
  • awardLonglisted, Man Asian Literary Award, 2011
  • One hot afternoon in a remote Bangladeshi village, a telegram brings life-changing news to Maya Haque’s door…

    Eight years before, a brutal war tore Maya’s country – and her family – apart. Now Maya realises it is time to return home at last. She arrives to find that everything has changed. Her old friends have been seduced by the lure of new money, her city streets have been renamed and the freedom she had once yearned for is a long-forgotten dream.

    Worst of all, her beloved brother, Sohail, has become a stranger to her, abandoning his liberal beliefs to become a strict religious leader. As she attempts to come to grips with her brother’s radicalism, Maya will be forced to rethink what it means to be a good daughter, sister, friend and citizen – and a good Muslim.

    Set in the dusty streets of Dhaka and the villages and river-islands of rural Bangladesh, at a time when the rise of religious fundamentalism was a whisper in the wind, The Good Muslim is an epic, unforgettable story of the challenges of peace in the long shadow of war. It is a novel that cleaves to the simple truth that shape all of our lives: that the bonds of family and love often strain to bear the weight of history.

    Watch Tahmima discuss her work.

    Listen to ABC Radio National’s Book Show review.

    Tahmima Anam
    About the Author

    Tahmima Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She grew up in Paris, New York and Bangkok, attended Harvard University, and now lives in London. Her writing has been published in Granta, the New York Times and the Guardian. She is also a contributing editor to the New Statesman. A Golden Age, her first novel, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best...

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    Text publication date:
    31 May 2011
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    Praise for Tahmima Anam
    andThe Good Muslim

    ‘Compelling and beautifully written…poetically precise…An eloquent and authentic testament to human resilience, The Good Muslim had this reviewer crying hot tears at its gut-wrenching climax–thinking about it, on and off, ever since.’

    ‘Its delicacy and power and breadth—the way its compassion and grief keep complicating its anger—I read it with heart in mouth.’

    ‘Anam writes about the damage and sorrow in her birth country with profound sensitivity and eloquence.’

    The Good Muslim provides some penetrating meditations on faith, war, linguistic and class hegemony, parenthood, sibling rivalry and love. One looks forward to the third volume of the trilogy.’

    ‘Movingly poetic…Anam’s great gift is picking illuminating threads out of the chaos of life in masterful prose while maintaining an overwhelming sense of mystery. Superb.’

    ‘Another epic novel of the Indian sub-continent, written by a gorgeous and preciously talented young woman…[Anam] writes both lyrically and loudly. Her style is rich with cadence and incantation. At the same time, it’s always accessible, always purposeful…A startling and sensuous story.’

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