Vol. 5 Num 1046 Sat. May 12, 2007  

'A Golden Age' launched
'The novel to make spirit of liberation war stronger in minds of young generation'

Speakers at the launching ceremony of a novel titled 'A Golden Age' by Tahmima Anam yesterday said it is the first novel published in English internationally depicting our liberation war, which will reach an audience the world over.

This novel will make a significant contribution in making the spirit of the liberation war stronger in the minds of the young generation, they said.

Highly praising the novel, the speakers said an English novel on the liberation war of Bangladesh like 'A Golden Age' is rare. The author has been able to capture the contribution of the ordinary people to the war in a very realistic manner.

They also compared Tahmima Anam with award winning novelists such as Monica Ali, Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai, saying that Bangladesh is proud to have a young and promising writer like her.

Etcetera Bangladesh Ltd., one of the largest chain retail shop in the country, organised the book launching ceremony at its Dhanmondi outlet in the city.

The novel, which was published by John Murray, a famous publishing house of London, has already received huge appreciation from the English press, which hailed the author as a 'voice of real eloquence' and 'major new talent.'

Tahmima Anam's work will make our country known to the world, said Tasmima Hossain, editor of Anannya, a fortnightly magazine for women.

"This book depicts our liberation war from a woman's perspective," she observed.

"Tahmima has shown that ordinary women also possessed power, vigour and confidence during our liberation war," she added.

"This is for the first time that the liberation war of Bangladesh is depicted worldwide through a fiction and Tahmima Anam has done this great job," she noted.

Prof Shawkat Hossain of English department, Dhaka University, in his comment highly praised the novel.

There are many books based on our liberation war, but this one portrays the war from the perspective of ordinary citizens. The novel is centred around a widow with a young son and a daughter, both of whom became freedom fighters. The novel depicts drama at various levels and is a very interesting reading.

"This novel is one of the best novels on the liberation war," said Habibul Alam Bir Pratik.

In her brief speech, Runi Khan, a cultural activist based in London, focused on the style and quality of the novel. She said readers in London have so far received the book very well.

She also highly praised the writing style of the author, saying that "It is really amazing the way the novel has been written."

Tahmima Anam has made Bangladesh Proud, she added.

"John Murray, the publisher of the novel, has published a number of novels after 'A Golden Age', but none got much popularity and publicity like 'A Golden Age'," Runi Khan said.

About Tahmima, her father Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, said, "Tahmima more or less stayed in Bangladesh only for four years of her life. But as she matured, she became intellectually inclined to this land, to this culture, to this people and to this heritage. And that to me as a father is my biggest satisfaction -- to see my daughter become a part of this heritage, and be so proud of it."

Shaheen Anam, mother of Tahmima, revealed the background of the novel, saying, "It's totally a fiction but based on some real events and real people."

Tahmima has written the story of our liberation war and the whole world will now come to know about it, she said, adding that her book is being translated in seven or eight languages and that more publishers are showing interest in translating it.

"Tahmima has written the story of our generation, this is not only our pride, it's the pride of all freedom fighters and the people in general," she said.

Musleha Islam, maternal grandmother of Tahmima, unveiled the cover of the book while Literary Editor of The Daily Star Khademul Islam conducted the book launching ceremony.

Musleha Islam, maternal grandmother of Tahmima Anam, launches a novel titled 'A Golden Age' by Tahmima at the Dhanmondi outlet of Etcetera in the city yesterday. Standing from left are Shoma Zahid, Shaheen Anam, Habibul Alam Bir Pratik, Prof Shawkat Hossain, Tasmima Hossain and Runi Khan. PHOTO: STAR