Friday, August 12, 2011

Freedom, family and faith

Tahmima Anam’s aptly titled new novel, The Good Muslim, was launched on the eve of Ramadan at Olive Bar & Kitchen in New Delhi, against the stunning backdrop of the Qutub Minar. In conversation with literary columnist Nilanjana Rao, Anam, a Bangladeshi writer, spoke of war, family and fanaticism.

The Good Muslim follows the success of Aman’s first novel, The Golden Age, and is the second part of a trilogy. I read The Golden Age over four years ago and remember getting entwined in the lives of the Haque family.

Like a long-lost friend, I couldn’t help wondering what became of them — mother Rehana, and her children, Maya and Sohail. Rehana, incidentally, is a character inspired by Anam’s grandmother who helped freedom fighters during the 1971 war.

We are reunited with the Haque family in The Good Muslim.

We last met the Haques in 1971, when the war tore their family apart, but brought independence. Eight years have passed since then and the Haque family, still in Dhaka, is now grappling with the changes in a new Bangladesh.

The Good Muslim focuses on the different paths the two siblings embark upon in the wake of this war — Maya has become a spirited, liberal-minded doctor and her brother Sohail is now a strict religious leader.

Full report here Asian Age

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