Tahmima Anam

Books & LiteratureThe Guardian

Tahmima Anam ‘As a woman, I’m aware of the limitations of tech’

Readers may know Tahmima Anam as the author of a trilogy of sombre, lyrical novels centred on the 1971 Bangladesh war of independence and its fallout: A Golden Age (2007), which won the Commonwealth writers’ prize for best first book and was shortlisted for the Guardian first book award; The Good Muslim (2011); and The Bones of Grace (2016). She constructed that fictional world largely around the memories of her relatives in Bangladesh, who endured those times – it doesn’t mirror her own experience. Born in Dhaka in 1975, four years after the war, Anam grew up in Paris, New York and Bangkok, went to college in New England and now lives in London. When she travelled to Bangladesh she used to feel “like I didn’t belong”, she says. “Those books were my way of putting myself back into that identity. I would wake up, sit down at my desk, cry all day and write, and then I would turn my computer off and go to sleep. If you feel, as I did, a very complex relationship to a place, writing a book about it is a great way to stake your claim: that is my country, that is my history.”
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