Negotiating the Politics of Power: Tahmima Anam's <i>The Good Muslim</i> and Women's Role in War and Nation-building


  • Farzana Akhter


In the grand narratives of the history of Bangladesh’s birth, women’s wartime experiences and their contributions have been pushed to the periphery to institutionalise male monopoly on the annals of war. Even the voices of those who had been sexually violated have been silenced. Only a line or two can be found in the official stereotypical grand narrative of the Liberation War about their sacrifice. In this paper, analysing the personal narratives of Maya and Piya, the two central characters in Tahmima Anam’s The Good Muslim (2011), I argue that although war mobilises women to be politically active, in the aftermath of war they are relegated to a subordinate status. Additionally, analysing Maya’s reversal of roles from an active participant to a reproductive agent, I reiterate that female and male participation in nation-building is regulated by socially constructed ideas of masculinity and femininity.


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How to Cite

Akhter, F. (2018). Negotiating the Politics of Power: Tahmima Anam’s &lt;i&gt;The Good Muslim&lt;/i&gt; and Women’s Role in War and Nation-building. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 12(1), 93–107. Retrieved from



Section II: Articles and Interviews on Bangladeshi Writing in English