Tahmima Anam '97
Photo by Paul Schnaittacher
Tahmima Anam loves to create female characters who are "strong, ambivalent, ambiguous, challenging." Her very first novel, A Golden Age, is, in fact, a dramatic account of the 1971 war of independence in Bangladesh as experienced by the widow, Rehana Haque, and her two college-aged children.
Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1975, Tahmima spent most of her childhood in cities around the world, yet grew up with deep respect for the complex history of her homeland. After graduating from Mount Holyoke, she went on to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard. After interviewing hundreds of veterans of the war, Tahmima realized that there was a need to share their stories with the world. While enrolled in the master's program in creative writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, she won a fellowship from the Arts Council of England, which helped her finish A Golden Age. In 2008, Tahmina was awarded the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book and is currently on the Granta list of the 20 best young writers.