The Golden Legend: A novel

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With his latest novel, The Golden Legend, Nadeem Aslam brings to life a world as complex as an eleventh-century Persian tapestry. Set in modern Pakistan, beginning with a violent episode that throws the protagonist, Nargis, onto a path of escape and discovery, the novel develops slowly into a riveting and tense study on what it means to be strong even when the world demands your weakness.

This gorgeous portrait of bravery unravels in modern Pakistan, where the Muslim and Christian communities are in conflict. Aslam reveals the commonality among these two disparate groups by focusing not on their articles of faith but on the need every person has to be connected in some way to someone else.

The intimacy created by Aslam’s thoughtful, tempered prose is powerful. When Helen, the daughter of Nargis’s former servants, begins a relationship with the mysterious Imran, their encounters are so perfectly rendered that reading them almost feels like an intrusion. And their beginning is cast against the backdrop of Nargis’s mourning, not only for the loss of her husband but for the loss of the opportunity to reveal to him the secret she kept throughout their entire marriage.

The Golden Legend is the kind of book that should be passed reverently from reader to reader and discussed in impassioned tones over a shared meal. Aslam has created a story that both transcends and illuminates the conflict of the modern age by giving it a heart and a soul in which to “carry the names of those you love.”


Reviewed By:

Author Nadeem Aslam
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2017-Apr-18
ISBN 9780451493781
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2017
Category Modern Literature
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