‘I think you were expecting someone else— a monster perhaps. Sorry to disappoint you, sir. I’m not who they say I am. Please, have a seat. I will tell you more…’
An assassin, accused of heinous acts of terror, begins his testimony by claiming responsibility for the murder of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Salim Agha. To explain his motive, he narrates the story of Salim and the tragic relationship he had with his beloved nation, Pureland.
Salim’s unlikely life is prophesied by a levitating saint. Starting as a feudal servant, he inadvertently contributes to a coup d’état that derails his country and eventually leads to a hostile takeover of Pureland by the Caliphate. Salim leaves for New York. Over his subsequent years in exile, remorse leads him to try and undo this wrong—and in doing so he creates vicious enemies who vie to slay him. One such enemy is the narrator himself.
Inspired by a true story, Zarrar Said’s novel Pureland is a tour-de-force debut about a nation that has lost its way, its people who suffer from unspeakable tyranny, and a remorseful hero whose legacy has been wiped out by hatred.
‘An incredible story compellingly told, in the form of a confession that encapsulates the tragedy and pathos of a part of the world so close to us all.’ FARRUKH DHONDY, author of Bombay Duck
Back cover text:
Somewhere, lost in the chaotic tapestry of the East, lurks the ghost of a forgotten nation called Pureland. Over there, a new empire now blankets the land, and all that was there before is forever lost.
Alas, no one quite knows when it happened or why this havoc was wrought upon us; why our books were set ablaze, or how classrooms suddenly turned into bunkers, or where exactly our integrity was auctioned, or to whom, or when entire nations vanished into thin air…