The Good Muslim has ratings and reviews. Pankaj Mishra praised A Golden Age, Tahmima Anam’s debut novel, as a “startlingly accomplished and. In “A Golden Age,”Tahmima Anam chronicled Bangladesh’s war for independence through the story of Rehana Haque, a widow drawn. Delicate, heart-wrenching and poetic, this is a novel ofgreat poise and power.” — Tash Aw, author of The Harmony Silk Factory Set in Bangladesh at a ti.

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This haunting is felt most keenly by Maya, a doctor returning home after some years away. Anam describes Maya’s memories with an unflinching realism: Maya and Musoim and their relatives have all been radicalised in their own ways, invaded and transformed by interests much larger than themselves.

Anam’s intelligent style is perfectly suited to the dissection of this new, altered Bangladesha country of hypocrisies, doubts and strange metamorphoses.


The greatest shock for progressive Maya is encountering her beloved brother, who has sunk his horror at his own involvement in the war into the comforts of extreme religious conservatism. As the novel progresses, the two characters tahmimx more entrenched in their positions and their final clash of principles is shattering yet inevitable. Maya’s medical knowledge, her worldliness and her independence as a woman give her a clear view of tahmjma injustices and ignorance around her. All this may make The Good Muslim sound heavy — but it isn’t.

Its clarity, alacrity and succession of brief, vivid scenes give the characters room to breathe.

The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam – review | Books | The Guardian

Maya is immediately impressive but Anam’s acuity cuts deepest in her treatment of Sohail. In this young man, nationalism, machismo, conservatism and denial ggood to create a tragic archetype.

His fervour is a crutch for his trauma, guilt and grief, his certainty built on shaky foundations. His is a flimsy, self-constructed identity which eventually must crash down.


The Good Muslim is about a national victory that does not feel like a victory, a liberation that is a damnation for many. Anam is one of a generation of writers with a subcontinental heritage whose themes are politicised and universal. The Good Muslim uses a specific history to identify issues that resonate in places and times far beyond post-independence Bangladesh, and it is this pertinence that makes The Good Muslim not just an interesting novel but an important one.

Revolution And The Question Of ‘The Good Muslim’

Topics Fiction The Observer. Bangladesh Islam South and Central Asia reviews.

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