“Most famous authors overshadow their books, but Taslima Nasreen is different. The Bangladeshi poet, novelist, essayist and memoirist, as things stand, is better known to the non-Bengali world for what she says than how she writes. At 45, the woman who trained and worked as a medical doctor in Dhaka before she fled her country is probably the world’s most prolific underground writer, with at least six of her 30 books officially banned in her country and the rest selling mostly under cover.”
This is the best piece I’ve read on Taslima Nasrin — although the article’s introduction adopts a slightly dismissive stance. Still, the interview is powerful testimony against the backward fundamentalism against which Nasrin so eloquently aims her anger. Her voice is comparable to that of the much more famous Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but she doesn’t make the mistake of raising it only against Islamic Fundamentalism; Nasrin’s furious critique is aimed at all “inhumanity in the name of religion” — any religion. And if her poetry (I haven’t read her prose) is as powerful in the original as it is in Carolyne Wright’s translations collected in The Game in Reverse, it’s no surprise that she drives the wackos to distraction.
But I wonder — could it be her contempt for all religions that keeps her from being lionized like the author of The Caged Virgin?