The Golden Legend: A novel (Vintage International) (Paperback)
When shots ring out on the Grand Trunk Road in the fictional Pakistani city of Zamara, Nargis’s life begins to crumble around her. Soon her husband—and fellow architect—is dead and, under threat from a powerful military intelligence officer, she fears that a long-hidden truth about her past will be exposed. For weeks someone has been broadcasting people’s secrets from the minaret of the local mosque, and, in a country where even the accusation of blasphemy is a currency to be bartered, the mysterious broadcasts have struck fear in Christians and Muslims alike. A revelatory portrait of the human spirit, in The Golden Legend, Nadeem Aslam gives us a novel of Pakistan’s past and present—a story of corruption and resilience, of love and terror, and of the disguises that are sometimes necessary for survival.
About the Author
Nadeem Aslam was born in Pakistan and now lives in England. He is the author of four previous novels, most recently The Blind Man’s Garden. His work has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, short-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and has won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Encore Award, the Windham-Campbell Prize, and the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, and LitHub
“Powerful and engrossing. . . . [Aslam] writes with great sensitivity and depth.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Stunning. . . . [The Golden Legend is] masterful and compelling fiction, intricately layering symbols and parallels, unspooling its plot in dramatic twists until the very last sentence.” —The Boston Globe
“A powerful and timely comment on the precarious state of religious minorities in Pakistan and an honest mirror to the Pakistani state and society.” —The Washington Post
“Beautifully imagined.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Remarkable. . . . The Golden Legend is extravagant with imagery and elaborate with metaphor.” —The Economist
“A heart-pounding and timely novel about kinship and resilience.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“A magical book. . . . Aslam’s writing is lyrical and expansive. . . . He’s a brilliant novelist, one of two or three truly great writers in the world today. His work reminds me of Orhan Pamuk at an earlier stage of his career. And, yes, like Pamuk, Nadeem Aslam ought to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.” —Charles R. Larson, Counterpunch
“At once a coming-of-age love story, a study of loss, and a lucid portrait of the conflicts pervading contemporary Pakistan. . . . Aslam’s crystalline prose and emotionally nuanced characters give his novel a wide resonance. . . . Though unsparing in its depiction of the brutal exercise of power, this is also a paean to human resilience.” —Financial Times
“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.” —Peter Parker, The Spectator
“Mesmerizing . . . other-worldly astonishing. Superlatives feel downright insufficient.” —The Christian Science Monitor