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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,208 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tahmima Anam Narrator: Madhur Jaffrey Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9780061580024
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As young widow Rehana Haque awakes one March morning, she might be forgiven for feeling happy. Her children are almost grown, the city is buzzing with excitement after recent elections. Change is in the air.

But no one can foresee what will happen in the days and months that follow. For this is East Pakistan in 1971, a country on the brink of war. And this family's life is about to change forever.

Set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence, A Golden Age is a story of passion and revolution, of hope, faith, and unexpected heroism. In the chaos of this era, everyone must make choices. And as she struggles to keep her family safe, Rehana will be forced to face a heartbreaking dilemma.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Compelling…Anam is cracking open secrets, personal and political, to let the healing begin.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Striking…Anam deftly weaves the personal and the political, giving the terrors of war spare, powerful treatment while lyrically depicting the way in the struggle for freedom allows Rehana to discover both her strength and her heart.”

    New Yorker

  • “Told with great skill and urgency…Spellbinding in its sense of quiet foreboding…Anam has written a story about powerful events. But it is her descriptions of the small, unheralded moments, the ones slipping effortlessly between the interstices of major conflagrations, which truly touch the heart.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “An impressive debut…Rehana’s metamorphosis encapsulates her country’s tragedy and makes for an immersive, wrenching narrative.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A memorable literary achievement…Panoramic in its sense of history, intensely personal in its sense of drama—a wonderfully sad yet joyous read.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Anam’s startlingly accomplished and gripping novel describes not only the tumult of a great historical even…but also the small but heroic struggles of individuals living in the shadow of revolution and war.”

    Pankaj Mishra, Royal Society of Literature Fellow

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2007 Guardian First Book Award Finalist
  • Winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book
  • A 2008 Costa Book Award Finalist
  • A 2008 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cecily | 1/23/2014

    " Yet another one I couldn't get into. I stuck with this one into the second c.d. but then gave up. I might attempt this one later if I feel the need. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ziggysmallz | 12/11/2013

    " Helped me learn about the Pak-Bangladeshi split. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 11/24/2013

    " Anam writes about her native Bangladesh with the exoticism of a visitor- in that respect she reminded me very much of Michael Ondaatje. Granted, I had low expectations of this novel--being wholly uninterested in the region or time period and generally skeptical of contemporary fiction--but the characters were so finely wrought, the landscape so beautifully fleshed out, and the story so utterly compelling, that I was completely blown away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Night Sins | 10/2/2013

    " I'm not good with the reviews, but I want to say that I loved this book, even if it is a genre that usually I don't read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenika | 9/22/2013

    " I do like me some historical fiction and this was set an in interesting time that I knew little about - in Bangladesh during their war of independence (from Pakistan). But I found the writing to just be okay, easy to read, but the story was somehow less compelling by the end of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shabari Karumbaya | 9/21/2013

    " Set during the Bangaldesh War...something I have a family connection to. Well written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Newsome | 9/14/2013

    " Historical fiction of the war between Pakistan & Bangladesh in the early 1970's. Rehana's love for her children. She will do anything for them. Her belief that people are basically good. Her desire to help people. I loved her character. I worried with her about her son Sohail joining the resistance. Her guilt that she loved him more than her daughter Maya. With so much pain how can this book end well? But it does. Also liked the love interest with her & the Major "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mizie | 9/11/2013

    " It's a moderate book.I love the story of Rehana, Sohail and Maya acted during the turmoil time of Bangladesh against Pakistan "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 9/7/2013

    " This young Paki writer has a PhD from Harvard and this is her first novel. Impressive book, wonderful story. Also reminds me of when I first read Amy Tan. I wish Ms Anam a long career. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deirdre | 7/19/2013

    " read on ashima's recommendation. i too did not know this slice of history and found it interesting. nicely written and engaging but was not as blown away. perhaps because i was comparing to a thousand splendid suns which had certain similarities but which i thought was superior. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nan Jackson | 7/7/2013

    " Ok story about woman who puts her children first and changes her life to support them and her new emerging country. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 3/7/2013

    " Being in Dhaka really made reading this book more interesting to me. Some of the streets and places were the same as in the 70s. Driving around town today I tried to imagine what life had been like during the war. I can't imagine it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arden | 11/21/2012

    " I am looking forward to reading the sequel, A Good Muslim. I bought it without realizing that it was a sequel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joel | 9/18/2012

    " Wonderful story about a mother's experience/growth during the birth of Bangladesh "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zenia | 9/15/2012

    " A really great, quick read. Would recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia Chilek | 9/6/2012

    " An interesting novel about Bangladesh breaking away from Pakistan rule in the early '70s as told by an average family. I read this while in Bangladesh which I'm sure made it all the better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashima | 5/27/2012

    " Stunning book. I couldn't put it down and wanted to read it again as soon as I finished. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 9/7/2011

    " New book by a first time Bangladeshi author and its very well written. About the Liberation War time in Dhaka, from a very personal perspective. Highly recommended to anyone interested in this place or time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rabia Khokhar | 6/30/2011

    " The cover is beautiful and almost lures you into the story. Overall an interesting and easy to read historical fiction. The last few moments were sad and surprising. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 HKd | 3/31/2011

    " Great first novel. I enjoyed reading about Rehana and her children, although the romance didn't really work for me. Put me in a mind of Half a Yellow Sun - not quite as good as that but still impressive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jasmine | 3/16/2011

    " very moving. i could read this over and over and over again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane | 3/15/2011

    " It was OK. I appreciated learning about the period. The plot did nothing for me. I wasn't invested in the characters. They didn't seem real to me, just characters in a book. I wasn't eager to pick up the book and I was happy to be finished with it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rei | 2/6/2011

    " Absolutely heartbreaking in both large and small ways. I loved the simplicity of the words which masked a complicated story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oliver | 1/23/2011

    " A magnificent family saga set during the Bangladesh war of independence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/10/2011

    " It took a few chapters before I got into this but I'm glad I stuck with it as I learned a bit about the Bangladesh War of Independence through the eyes of a Rehana, a mother and widow dealing with change. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jadepen | 1/4/2011

    " A beautiful book that captures the passion of an author for her country, A Golden Age treats the Bangladesh revolution in a manner that does justice to the painful memories of that age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 12/2/2010

    " This was a beautiful story of a mother's love for her children, and a widow's love for her husband. I would have liked a bit more background about the historical situation in Bangladesh (or East Pakistan, during much of the book). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ester | 12/1/2010

    " best book at that time... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 11/4/2010

    " A great look into the 1971 war in Bangladesh; I love learning about new cultures, and I thought the story and characters were very compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 10/25/2010

    " It was a quick read and a good story. "

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About the Author
Author Tahmima Anam

Tahmima Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and grew up in Paris, Bangkok, and New York. She holds a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University. Her writing has been published in Granta, the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Financial Times. Her first novel, A Golden Age, was the winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, shortlisted for Guardian First Book Award, and nominated for the Costa First Novel Prize. Her book, The Good Muslim, was nominated for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize. She lives in London and Dhaka.