IS THE MERMAN BOOK OF POWER ANOTHER ARABIAN NIGHTS?
Book Review by Namrata
Name: The Merman and the Book of Power- A Qissa
Author: Musharraf Ali Farooqi
Publisher: Aleph Book Company, 2019
The Merman and the Book of Power is the retelling of a qissa, a classic storytelling form in Urdu. This epic novel combines myth with history to give us a glimpse of the evolution of civilisation.
Author Musharraf Ali Farooqi works have been critically acclaimed and have been a finalist for both, Man Asia Literary Prize 2012 and DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2008 apart from being longlisted for IMPAC/Dublin Literary Prize. Along with being a writer, he is also an editor, translator and founder of the Storykit Program.
As Farooqi says in the Author’s Note, “This book merges the parallel histories, myths and multiple personas for Apollonius of Tyana, Hermes Trismegistus and Alexander the Great in the Western and Eastern literary canon, and the various religious, occult and apocalyptic traditions associated with them.”
Deeply reminiscent of classics like Arabian Nights, this book narrates a story within a story with equal élan. By the time you are done with the narration, there is another magical adventure that nudges you on to read. The book begins with a list of characters, further bifurcated into rulers and philosophers and functionaries with their birth and death years along with a brief bio to give the reader an idea of what is in store.
Read full review on Kitaab.