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.
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