The Golden Legend
From the acclaimed author of Maps for Lost Lovers and The Blind Man’s Garden, a brave, timely, searingly beautiful novel set in contemporary Pakistan – about a community consumed by religious intolerance.
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE 2018
For weeks, someone has been broadcasting people’s secrets from the minarets of the city’s mosques, striking fear into the hearts of Christians and Muslims alike. Then when shots ring out on the Grand Trunk Road, and Nargis’s husband, Massud, a fellow architect, is caught in the crossfire, she is unable to confess to him her greatest secret before he dies. But as the anonymous broadcasts continue, is it merely a matter of time before her past is exposed? The Golden Legend is a timely and luminous story of corruption, resilience and the hope that only love and the human spirit can offer.
An exquisite, painful book . . . Exhilarating.
Nadeem Aslam has quietly built up a body of work quite unlike that of any other novelist, detailing the worst that humans can do in prose that suggests the redemptive possibilities of art. Horror and beauty are held in precarious balance in The Golden Legend, largely set in present-day Pakistan against a backdrop of violent religious intolerance, with an almost equally murderous backstory set in Kashmir. The plot's engagement with questions of identity challenges fixed notions of who people are and where they belong, and every page is lit up by some unexpected but lovely image.
Remarkable . . . a work of quiet rage and searing beauty.
A coming-of-age love story, a study of loss and a lucid portrait of the conflicts pervading contemporary Pakistan . . . a paean to human resilience.
Aslam is a remarkable writer . . . [An] utterly engrossing novel.
Powerful and engrossing . . . Aslam writes with great sensitivity and depth about the ways human beings behave under almost unimaginable pressure . . . The Golden Legend is a heartening book.
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