Tahmina Hussain grew up in the West Midlands. She is currently teaching English for Academic Purposes to non-native university students, and also tutors primary school students with basic English and Maths.
Tahmina graduated from Newman University with a BA in English in 2015. After finishing her BA she wasn’t yet ready to go into teaching, so she decided to do her Masters in English Language Teaching in TESOL at Nottingham Trent University. During this time she was given the chance to go to Vietnam and teach English skills to Vietnamese students at The University of Da Nang. She thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and it enabled her to finalise her decision to teach international students; as she enjoyed travelling, and learning about new cultures, she decided to combine her interests.
From making up stories as a child with her sister, and then also acting these out – this is where Tahmina’s imagination had started to develop. Her Creative Writing module at University during her Bachelors allowed her to expand and organise her thoughts, and then transfer them onto paper. She sat on her short stories for a while before deciding to submit them. 1807 is her first short story to be published, and Tahmina hopes it won’t be the last.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading, or being read to as a child?
A: The Suitcase Kid by Jaqueline Wilson. It was at that time that I realised my likes and dislikes according to novel genre, and I was starting to settle in with reading regularly. The character of Andrea was very well shaped, and was relatable to my younger self in some aspects. I, therefore, started to also find comfort within reading, due to Wilson’s books touching on real life issues for her younger readers through unique but relatable characters.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to and how many times have you read it?
A: 1984 by George Orwell. I have always been intrigued by dystopian novels which observes a totalitarian society in a different world or time, and how those in authority are able to oppress the population through complete control of public and private life. Furthermore, following the character, Winston’s scandalous love story with Julia allows an insight into what extent the government will go to, to maintain their all control. It allows me to see another way life could have been, or may be in the future.
It has also allowed me to learn that society can be or is built on conformity, and that we must break the chains for our freedom.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: East or West Egg within The Great Gatsby, this is because of the glitz and the glamour, and the desire to achieve the American Dream, regardless of the decadence and idealism. Being wild, carefree, and full of hope.
April 13th 1807 I was hiding in the closet with a sock stuffed in my mouth. Short shallow rapid breathing. I tried with great difficulty to not make a single sound. They were like lions cleverly preying strategically on an unsuspecting plump gazelle. Peering through the slight crack, I watched on as the bright flames …