Meyebela by Taslima Nasrin
My Bengali Girlhood

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This groundbreaking book throws open a window on a world unknown to most Westerners. Taslima Nasrin revisits her early years — from her auspicious birth on a Muslim holy day to the threshold of womanhood at fourteen — in a small rural village during the years East Pakistan became Bangladesh. Set against the background of the fight for independence, Nasrin’s earliest memories alternate between scenes of violence and flight and images of innocent pleasures of childhood in her extended family.
A precocious child, Nasrin’s acute awareness of the injustice and suffering endured by her mother and other Muslim women cause her to turn from the Koran in early adolescence, and to begin a journey to redefine her world. Her growing awareness of the class discriminations, gender disparities, and growing religious orthodoxy and intolerance in her family and her rural village parallel the broader social and cultural upheaval emerging in the new nation, and foreshadow the growth of a feminist dissident courageous enough to defy the fundamentalist Muslim clerics.

“Nasrin’s voice is the voice of humanism everywhere.”-- Wole Soyinka

“I am sure you have become tired of being called ‘the female Salman Rushdie’ . . . but please know that there are many people in many countries working to . . . defend you against those who would cheerfully see you dead. . . . In the West, there are too many eloquent apologists working to convince people of the fiction that women are not discriminated against in Muslim countries or that, if they are, it has nothing to do with religion.”-- Excerpt from an open letter from Salman Rrushdie to Taslima Nasrin

About Taslima Nasrin

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TASLIMA NASRIN became a doctor in 1984 and her novel Shame brought her international feminist acclaim. A death fatwa was issued against her in 1993, condemning her views on women’s rights, health care, and religion; she has lived in exile since 1994. She has published eighteen books in thirty different languages and has received many awards, including Feminist of the Year, USA (1994), the Human Rights Award from the Government of France, the International Humanist award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and she has been named Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
Published June 1, 1998 by Steerforth. 300 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Nasrin attributes her growing feminism and religious skepticism to what she observes on entering adolescence: a mother who had dreamed of going to college but became a religious zealot, reviling education and women’s rights (although, paradoxically, her father is determined that Nasrin be educated);

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