The Merman and the Book of Power: A Qissa
About: The Merman and the Book of Power brings into the English the classical qissa genre, a fabulist storytelling form. The book begins with the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258. The city are convinced they are the manifestation of the creatures of Apocalypse, Gog and Magog, imprisoned by the legendary King Alexander. A year later, when the city gates open to allow a strange creature—half man, half beast—caught by Mediterranean fishermen, fresh rumours begin to circulate. Is Gujastak the Merman one of Creation’s marvels or an ill omen whose appearance signals the Apocalypse? In parallel to the Merman’s story is the story of a talismanic book discovered by a Caliph that confers diabolical powers on the one who possesses it. The qissa comes to glowing life as it spins a tale of magical creatures, ill-starred lovers, and the phenomena that might bring the world to its end.
Title: The Merman and the Book of Power: A Qissa
Told by: Musharraf Ali Farooqi
Illustrated by: Michelle Farooqi
Publisher: KITAB (Private) Limited
Pages: 228 (including 17 full color illustrations)