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THE GARDENS OF LIGHT by Amin Maalouf

THE GARDENS OF LIGHT

By Amin Maalouf

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-56656-247-3
Publisher: Canongate

A fine meditative historical novel from the internationally acclaimed Lebanese author of Samarkand (1996) and The Rock of Tanios (1994). This obviously scrupulously researched story focuses on the life, mission, and martyrdom of Mani, the third century a.d. prophet (of Manichaeanism) and mystic whose ethically centered philosophy featured a fusion of Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. The narrative is intermittently discursive, but Maalouf’s sympathetic renderings of Mani’s tribulations in his Persian homeland and in India, climaxing with his betrayal by the successor of an indulgent monarch, are suffused with a (nicely translated) dramatic lyricism that may remind many readers of the best work of the late Nikos Kazantzakis.