A Golden Age - Tahmima Anam's accurate depiction of the Liberation War

Rassiq Aziz Kabir | Tuesday, 11 January 2022

‘A Golden Age’ is the first novel written by Tahmima Anam, a renowned British Writer who has her roots in Bangladesh. 

The novel has received worldwide acclaim for being an accurate depiction of the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

The lead protagonist of the novel is a woman named Rehana Haque and the whole story is depicted from her point of view. Rehana being a widowed woman has two children who are very much involved with various events of the war. 

Rehana being from a previous generation fails to totally grasp the concept of nationhood that is in her children and suffers from a bit of identity crisis as she doesn’t understand the war. But with the passing of time, she has her own sense of belonging with the concept of Bangladesh and gets increasingly involved in the war efforts by helping the freedom fighters in various ways.

The novel has a very romanticised notion of our capital city, Dhaka and any reader residing in Dhaka will get goosebumps when their own streets are described in the context of our liberation war of 1971. 

The novel also has a unique perspective of looking at our liberation war, from the point of view of a widowed woman, something which is quite unprecedented when it comes to novels written on the premise of Bangladesh's Liberation struggle.

The writer, being from a family that is very much involved in the socio-political scenario of Bangladesh for at least three generations, does an astonishingly good job when it comes to depicting the real and accurate picture of the Liberation War as well as portraying the personal struggles of people of that time in such a way that the reader is bound to get hooked on and sympathise with the characters of the novel.

The book also does a good job in depicting the liberation war around Dhaka city, which is often overlooked by many writers as most of the books in this regard are based on villages and suburban areas.

As a whole, the book is a must-read for anyone who has the slightest bit of interest in the liberation war of Bangladesh and is looking for a depiction of the liberation war which does not fall under the typical male narrative but from a point of view which is representative of millions of women of that time.

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