Book Review: Lajja, by Taslima Nasrin

I have been hearing about Taslima Nasrin from the time I was a child. The Muslim Bangla woman was accused of writing blasphemous anecdotes about Islam in her 1993 novel  Lajja, which drew a number of protests, including at least one group calling for her death and offering a reward; Lajja was banned in Bangladesh following widespread protest against its contents.So it was natural that I picked up a copy of Lajja when I recently found it in a roadside bookshop, as it was hard to find a copy … [Read more...]

Revenge of the Battered Muslim Woman Stereotype

The back of her novel describes Taslima Nasrin’s Revenge: In contemporary Bangladesh, Jhumur marries for love and imagines life with her husband, Haroon, will continue much as it did when they were dating.  But once she crosses the threshold of Haroon’s family home, Jhumur finds she is expected to be the traditional Muslim wife: head covered, eyes averted, and unable to leave the house without an escort.  When she becomes pregnant, Jhumur is shocked to discover that Haroon doesn’t believe the bab … [Read more...]