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The Good Muslim: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 2, 2011
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“Throughout the novel’s extremes of violence and tragedy, Anam always allows the ultimate humanity of the characters to shine through.” (Kirkus )
“Anam has a gift for tackling complex issues both personal and political.” (Library Journal )
“The Good Muslim brims with gripping narrative, absorbing history and Shakespearean moral conundrums. . . . A keen examination of survival and forgiveness.” (Los Angeles Times )
“Anam seems to be a novelist not so much luxuriating in the act of writing as in total control of it, using the right words to create her stunning story.” (Arifa Akbar, The Independent )
“Anam has an eye for culture, and for cultural dissonance. The writer’s gift is to make the unfamiliar understood. The Good Muslim succeeds in doing exactly that, and doing it well.” (Denver Post )
“Anam tells a poignant, little-known story of a country often lost in the maze of global politics.” (Booklist )
“Gripping and beautifully written. . . . From historical, political, and social tragedy, Anam has fashioned a mesmerizing story capturing a culture and a time.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )
From the Back Cover
A New Yorker Best Book of the Year
In the dying days of a brutal civil war in Bangladesh, Sohail Haque stumbles upon an abandoned building. Inside he finds a young woman whose story will haunt him for a lifetime to come.
Almost a decade later, Sohail's sister, Maya, returns home after a long absence to find her beloved brother transformed. While Maya has stuck to her revolutionary ideals, Sohail has shunned his old life to become a charismatic religious leader. And when Sohail decides to send his son to a madrasa, the conflict between brother and sister comes to a devastating climax.
The Good Muslim is an epic story about faith, family, the rise of religious fundamentalism, and the long shadow of war from prizewinning Bangladeshi novelist Tahmima Anam.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The Good Muslim is the second book in the Haque family trilogy. It begins in 1984, thirteen years after the war. Bangladeshis are not necessarily much better off than before the war. The country has had two presidents assassinated and is now living under the thumb of the Dictator. Martial law is in effect, war criminals still have not been prosecuted, and religious extremism is building.
Once inseparable, Sohail and his sister Maya were driven apart following the war. Sohail felt the need to atone for his part in the war by gradually falling into an extreme practice of Islam. Maya became a doctor and shunned religion. The two have had no contact since 1977, when Maya fled from Dhaka in anger at her brother's complete renunciation of all the worldly things he once treasured. She felt she had lost the brother she loved, her heart's companion.
Maya returns to Dhaka in 1984. She is distressed at her brother's continued religiosity, yet she is seduced by its promises when disease threatens her mother's life. She quickly forges a strong bond with her motherless nephew Zaid. Sohail has other plans for the boy, deepening the rift between brother and sister. Maya finds it impossible to connect with her brother. His religious devotion is so intense that he neglects his son's needs and turns his back on old friends. As in the old days, Maya can't help finding ways of getting herself in hot water. She's an intelligent, bold, outspoken woman in a country that favors female submission.
Tahmima Anam's strength lies in writing about the intricacies of familial love and loyalty.Read more ›
Tahmima Anam has crafted a beautifully written story of a woman's life after war, a life constrained by custom and religion, lived with dependence and independence, beauty and sorrow, and the pervasive sense of loss. Within alternating chapters of past and present, we learn Maya's history, her fractured bonds to family, friends, and religion, her growing despair for her country, and the heavy price of a woman's freedom in a land of misogyny and fundamentalism.
Maya and her mother are real and fascinating characters. The author speaks from Maya's perspective, so we get to know her best. She is a complex bundle of contradictions. She has lost her beloved older brother, Sohail to a strict form of Islam that precludes just about every form of human activity. He rebuffs her attempts to reestablish their relationship. Sohail's son Zaid, ill clothed, underfed, and emotionally abandoned, is forbidden from attending school, until a suitably Islamic one can be found, where an even more heartbreaking fate awaits.Read more ›
Although it's the second of two novels, the first of which presumably deals with the experiences of Maya, her brother Sohail and their friends during the war of independence in the early 1970s, this can be easily read on its own, as I did; the author gracefully introduces the background to us throughout the story without it ever feeling as if we're being debriefed. (That's not to say, of course, that this wouldn't have been a still richer experience had I read A Golden Age: A Novel (P.S.) first.) When the story opens, Maya is making her way home slowly across the country to Dhaka, which she had left years earlier. Her religious sister-in-law -- who had helped make her home no longer feel like home and helped, she is convinced, to turn her brother into an unrecognizably devout Muslim -- is now dead, Maya has encountered problems at the rural health clinic that she set up to help mothers and their babies, and so she returns to the city where her mother, brother and young nephew now live.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“Suffering is a gift. In it is hidden mercy.”
Tahmima Anam, an award-wining Bangladeshi author, has penned a soul touching and a highly poignant... Read more
Just finished reading "The Good Muslim" by Tahmima Anam. I had to put it down several times... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Vidds
Good read. Draws you into another world without being overly preachy. It is about Islam, but it isn't at the same time. Good character development. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kellie Wallace
Offers considerable knowledge and insight into Islam and what it means to be Muslim, in an entertaining and well written story. Read morePublished 16 months ago by bigboppar
I wish I had known that The Golden Age was an introduction to The Good Muslim. I guess I did not read the reviews prior to purchasing it. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Reid1
I found this book to be fathers scattered and confusing at times. Jumping back between time periods interrupted the flow of the story line. Disappointing read.Published 23 months ago by Sara A Warth
I have read and re-read A Golden Age, but Tahmima Anam has exceeded herself with The Good Muslim. Like a mango, her skills have ripened and sweetened; the words are often... Read morePublished on June 2, 2014 by Ash Quadir
I admit to being fascinated by books that narrate stories away from me, not only from a geographical point of view, but especially culturally. Read morePublished on May 13, 2014 by Anakina