“It could have been a smile, or it could have been a grimace. And the tickle in her throat could have been a chuckle or it could have been tears. It was mixed up: sad; funny; unfunny”
A mother struggles to protect her children as Bangladesh fights for independence; winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award
Spring, 1971, East Pakistan. Rehana Haque is throwing a party for her beloved children, Sohail and Maya. Her young family is growing up fast, and Rehana wants to remember this day forever. But out on the hot city streets, something violent is brewing. As the civil war develops, a war which will eventually see the birth of Bangladesh, Rehana struggles to keep her children safe and finds herself facing a heartbreaking dilemma.
“Deftly balances the story of nation against that of family … heart-shattering”
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“A stunning debut. Anam writes of torture, brutality, refugees and desperation, but she also writes of love and joy, food and song”
“A real page-turner, with a bravura, heart-stopping ending”
“Beautifully told, intimate and touching; Anam has a knack for making you care so desperately for her characters that you admire their failings as much as their strengths”
“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”
Tahmima Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She was selected as a Granta Best of Young British Novelist 2013. Her first novel, A Golden Age, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Costa First Novel Award, and was the winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Her second novel, The Good Muslim, was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was also longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her latest novel, The Bones of Grace, was published in 2016. She lives in London.