A Golden Age - by Tahmima Anam is October's Book

East Pakistan, 1971, a country on the brink of war and a family that is about to change for ever. While Rehana throws a party for her children in her rose-filled garden, in the city beyond the garden walls, excitement and tensions grow over recent elections. No one could imagine what the coming days and months would bring—the fever, the hope, the faith and the heartbreaking choices that everyone must make, including Rehana and her children. Set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence, this is a gripping novel of revolution, passion and unexpected heroism.


'Tahmima Anam's stunning novel A Golden Age lays bare a mother's ordeal in the gulf between the two Pakistans' - The Observer'

A real page-turner, with a bravura, heart-stopping ending' - Sunday Telegraph

'Deftly balances the story of nation against that of family . . . heart-shattering' - Kamila Shamsie, Guardian

'Anam finds her subject in Rehana’s fierce love for her children, in the story of what she is willing to do to keep them alive.…The second half of the novel acquires a taut, electric air, and I turned its pages greedily as it if were a thriller.' - New York Times Book Review

'Anam’s prose is glowing and graceful throughout; whether detailing the degradations of a refugee camp, the tenderness of an unexpected love affair, or the exhilarated dread of a nation in cataclysm.' - Guardian

'For widowed Rehana, a modest woman capable of animal cunning when cornered, the whys and wherefores of the fighting are secondary: it is keeping her family together during a time of crisis that absorbs all her considerable energies. Daily life in Dhaka - from gin-rummy to gardening - is captured with skill and tenderness.' - Telegraph

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I thought the author's background was quite interesting particularly given the book's subject: Tahmima Anam comes from an illustrious literary family in Bangladesh and was born in Dhaka in '75. Her parents were independence fighters in the 1971 war in Bangladesh. She grew up in Paris, New York and Bangkok, as her father worked for UNICEF. She gained a PhD in anthropology at Harvard, where her thesis was "Fixing the Past: War, Violence, and Habitations of Memory in Post-Independence Bangladesh." She went on to do a Masters in Creative Writing in London.  She now lives in London and Dhaka. 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 First Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Costa First Novel Award.

Hope to see you there!


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  • Jessie H.


    October 21, 2013

  • Anuradha Sharma K.

    Incredible day, yesterday! Geetha n I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. You all made us feel very welcome. Thank you so much and we look forward to the next meeting x

    October 13, 2013

  • Sheila C

    I had a great time with you people - thanks for coming and for the excellent participation which made it so good!

    1 · October 13, 2013

  • Neetha

    Will come for dinner

    1 · October 12, 2013

  • Anuradha Sharma K.

    Sorry I won't be able to join you all in the evening. Have fun.

    October 11, 2013

  • Philip

    Sounds good..il be attending Sagar

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • Jessie H.

    I would love to come,too.

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • Ria

    Sorry can't make the discussion tomorrow, but will hopefully come along to Sagar.

    October 11, 2013

  • Vinita

    Hi Sheila I'll come to Sagar after the book club

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • Gail

    Hi Sheila I'll come to Sagar as well.

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • Sheila C

    Hello All, after the meetup (discussing "A Golden Age" by Tahmima Anam") I thought we could go over to the South Indian vegetarian restaurant, Sagar. You don't have to come to the book discussion to come to the social. We should be there at 6:30pm, likely to be 7:30 before the food arrives.

    This is the menu: http://www.sagarveg.co.uk/west-...­
    This is the address: Sagar, 17A Percy Street, Off Tottenham Court Rd, London, W1T 1DU.

    Please let me know, preferably via "comments", if you are coming so I can book an appropriately sized table. Hope to see you there ;-)

    October 11, 2013

    • Vineet

      I will be there.

      1 · October 11, 2013

  • Philip

    Finished the book last week.
    Looking forward to the discussion !

    October 7, 2013

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