‘Pureland’ – new novel inspired by Dr Abdus Salam’s journey

The author, Zarrar Said

Zarrar landed in the US, with a dream to pursue a degree in physics, at the tender age of 18 only. During his voyage towards his goal, he discovered a disowned hero, a star that shined so bright – Dr Abdus Salam.

Inspired by Salam’s journey from Jhang to the Nobel Prize, ultimately to be disowned by his own people on the basis of faith lead to another journey – Zarrar’s road to his debut novel Pureland.

The cover of Said’s novel

Speaking to Dawn, Zarrar shared his own little story, which is quite intriguing and captivating as well. He couldn’t speak till the age of three and was taken to a spiritual healer by his father. The Pir told that he is a gifted child and will one day speak so loud that the whole world will hear him. And indeed, it feels like this is the time.

“I was obsessed with his life and surprised that not many people had actually heard about him. I found him universally appealing. He had never seen a light-bulb till the age of 15” – he said, speaking to the said source. 

The novel is a fictional story about a village boy Salim, who initiates his journey from an underprivileged village and makes his way to the Nobel Prize. Zarrar speaks about the south-Asian cultural and societal dynamics in his new novel, interesting amalgamates them with the themes of feminism and society’s cultural leanings as well.

“We cannot be culturally monogamous. We are storytelling creatures and the way we tell our stories is magical. But magical realism is not just angels and demons, it is deeply rooted in reality” – says the author.

When Pakistan is struggling through the dark times, blinded by hate, this books looks promising with regards to the unconventional subject matter. It also reinstates the lost hope in the country’s literature sphere, particularly in the English language, which has become rare.
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