Book Review by Namrata

Merman-Gujastak-and-the-Book-of-Power

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.”

After writing critically acclaimed novels, including the poignant Between Clay and Dust (2012), Pakistani-Canadian author Musharraf Ali Farooqi is embarking upon a new project that aims at popularising Urdu literature amongst children.

MusharrafUnder his children’s publishing house, Kitab, which he established in 2012, Farooqi launched a catalogue in December 2013 with eight books, five of which are in Urdu and three in English. The books comprise his book Tik-TikThe Master of Time and those by renowned authors Sufi Tabassum, Ghulam Abbas and Mehdi Azar Yazdi.

MusharrafThis month, Pakistani author Musharraf Ali Farooqi launched a new publishing house, Kitab, to promote Urdu literature among children in Pakistan: Mid-Day

Farooqi: This year, which I spent trying and testing things, was an eye-opener. I travelled to schools in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi and did sessions with children. We sold quite a few books there, and I returned with a better idea of how many copies I must actually print.

Pakistani writer Musharraf Farooqi was at the Goa Art and Literary Fest where he expounded his thoughts on translations: The Goan 

MusharrafOne of the highlights of this year’s Goa Lit Fest which for some had qualities of the proverbial curate’s egg, was a remarkably lively panel discussion on the dry-sounding subject of ‘translations’. Its success was partly thanks to a young Pakistani writer Musharraf Farooqi who took the firm stance that translations should remain faithful to originals. An acclaimed novelist, translator, journalist and children’s book writer, Farooqi’s books have been shortlisted for the Man Asia and DSC prizes.