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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > April 2016 > Ghosts of Bangladesh

Ghosts of Bangladesh

Neamat Imam’s first novel is a rarity in CanLit: a politically engaged work of fiction


The Black Coat

Neamat Imam



It is a testament to the relatively placid temperament of the Canadian state that political fiction in this country tends to tilt either in the direction of Wayne Johnston’s myth-making or Terry Fallis’s broad comedy. Even the contentious Harper Conservatives – with their egregious law-and-order agenda, Orwellian state surveillance laws, and destructive attitudes toward science and the environment, women’s rights, and native issues – did not inspire a rash of Canadian writers to storm the barricades with novels calling for revolution or resistance. To write such a novel, one might argue, it is necessary to come from away, or to have survived exposure to political regimes or situations that are not so defiantly middle-of-the-road. (The one place in Canada such novels can be found is Quebec, which underwent upheavals involving the FLQ in the 1960s and early ’70s.)

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YASUKO THANH brings a wandering spirit to her debut novel.