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The Crescent and the Pen: The Strange Journey of Taslima Nasreen (Hardback)
  • The Crescent and the Pen: The Strange Journey of Taslima Nasreen (Hardback)
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The Crescent and the Pen: The Strange Journey of Taslima Nasreen (Hardback)

(author)
£43.00
Hardback 292 Pages / Published: 30/10/2006
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This is a book about a writer, Islamic fundamentalism, mythmaking, and international literary politics. It is the story of Taslima Nasreen, a former medical doctor and protest writer who shot to international fame in 1993 at the age of thirty-four after she was accused of blasphemy by religious fanatics in Bangladesh and her book Shame was banned. In order to escape a warrant for her arrest, the controversial writer went underground and, as the official story has it, fled to the West where she became a human rights celebrity, a female version of Salman Rushdie. Taslima Nasreen's name almost became a household word in 1994, when she was awarded the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, and she was feted by presidents, chancellors, mayors, and famous writers and intellectuals around Europe for two years. She is still remembered and widely admired as a modern-day feminist icon who fought the bearded fundamentalists in her own country and whose life was in danger. This is the official story that most people are familiar with, and the one that is widely believed by Taslima supporters around the world. However, as The Crescent and the Pen reveals, in the style of a literary detective tale, the true story behind the international campaign to save Taslima has bever been told until now. Following on the trail of Taslima, Deen questions the reasoning behind the international crusade to save her, in the process debunking much of the current thinking that has shaped Islam into the new global enemy. She discovers that the story of what really happened to Taslima is a fascinating labyrinth where memory and myth have merged, the tale having acquired a life of its own with a hundred different authors.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780275991678
Number of pages: 292
Weight: 599 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"[T]his account reflects not only Nasreen's evolution as a writer but also Deen's as a critic. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers." - Choice
"The conventional story in the West holds that Bangladeshi writer Nasreen spoke out against Islamist fanatics, male oppression, and the curtailment of freedom of expression; was charged by the government with injuring religious sentiment; and was forced to go into hiding and flee her native country in 1994. Deen was puzzled by, for example, the lack of Bangladeshi women defending her, and thought there might be more to the story. Between 1995 and 2000, she conducted over a hundred interviews and traveled not only to Bangladesh several times, but also other places associated with Nasreen, and found a stranger story than she had imagined." - Reference & Research Book News
"The Crescent and the Pen is less an expose of religious intolerance in Bangladesh than an examination of such issues as Western stereotyping of Islam, the romantic desire for the role of the rescuer, and the disillusionment of the rescuers when they discover that their chosen heroine is far from perfect....[a]s the West steps up its campaign for ideological dissent in the Muslim world, this is an immensely timely reminder that dissidents tend to be unruly beasts rather than plaster saints." - The Australian
"In 1993, Bangladeshi physician, writer, and activist Nasreen was accused of blasphemy, and a fundamentalist group issued a fatwa against her. With a price on her head, she left her home country and now lives in Europe. Her case brought a great deal of attention to Islamic fundamentalism and the persecution of writers, but, as Deen shows, the real story differs in several important ways from the official version, and there are many unanswered questions. For example, why, when writers around the world were coming to Nasreen's defense, did she receive virtually no support within her own country? It's a troubling book because it forces us to consider the possibility that Nasreen wasn't simply a victim of ideological persecution, but it deserves to be read for the author's informative and thoughtful reappraisal of the case. Timely and extremely relevant in the post-9/11 climate." - Booklist
"The Crescent and the Pen is an exciting peek into a world of intrigue and deception, from the first word to the last." - Azizah

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