The Children of This Madness
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"A heartfelt yet clear-sighted novel about the gains and losses of immigration, both personal and political, The Children of This Madness masterfully explores the fascinatingly different worlds in which a father and a daughter exist, and what happens when these worlds collide."
--Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of Independence and Before We Visit the Goddess
"The elegant twined narrative of The Children of This Madness offers the reader an intimate view of a complicated familial, and geopolitical, drama. I've always found fiction the best, most compassionate and honest resource for learning about the real world. Wahhaj's novel is a wonderfully useful addition to my own education. I really enjoyed reading this; the author made a very complicated situation lucid and moving." --Antonya Nelson, author of Bound and Funny Once.
"In The Children of This Madness, Gemini Wahhaj weaves a moving, powerful story moving that spans generations and continents. Through the lives of a Bengali father and daughter reckoning with their dreams and what they've lost, this work is an essential new addition to the Bengali diasporic literary landscape, one that deepens our understanding of how delicate internal struggles come head to head with seismic historic events. As inheritors of centuries-long imperialist, colonial power struggles, the interconnected and vividly drawn relationships at the heart of this novel reveal to us the ways in which desires for freedom and material security are inevitably, and tragically, entangled in the machinations of war and power. We remember by reading Wahhaj's work that love and memory is what remains when all else disappears."
--Tanaïs, author of Bright Lines and In Sensorium.
"Centered around the US invasion and destruction of Iraq, The Children of This Madness shows us how the Global South enters the empire or, rather, how the empire assimilates the Global South. In clear-eyed staccato style, Gemini Wahhaj insists on a humane narrative here and elsewhere. Houston, Texas represents. But Iraq and Bangladesh are essential, reminding us that there's a world out there larger and more connected than the time-space capsule in which imperial wars exist. A fantastic novel. Unbeholden to the market powers that normalize destruction in the name of culture."
--Fady Joudah, author of Tethered to Stars
"This extraordinary novel has the texture of lived life, with all its ruptures and complications. Nothing in Wahhaj's propulsive story has been packaged for a foreign audience, nothing feels manipulated or forced. The Bangladesh she describes (but never romanticizes) is at once sumptuously beautiful and, in colonialism's wake, heartbreakingly corrupt. Rather than moving in one direction and looking back with regret, Wahhaj's nuanced characters are buffeted here and there by the convulsions of geopolitics and war, trying to figure out what it means to be at home in the world."
--Nell Freudenberger, author of Lost and Wanted and The Newlyweds