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Pepsi and Maria - Adam Zameenzad


Pepsi is a smart street kid in an unnamed South American country – an orphan of circumstance, whose mother is dead and whose father, a famous politician, has disowned him. At his side is Maria, a girl kidnapped from her real family who has found in Pepsi a true ‘brother’. In this hard-hitting yet fantastic tale, Pepsi’s mission is to escape the sadistic Caddy, a policeman in cahoots with his father, whose one aim is to exterminate him, and to return Maria to her home – the rubbish-tip township she calls ‘Heaven’.

Zameenzad portrays the lives of social outcasts, loners, losers, the deprived and the dispossessed. He aims to give voice to the voiceless, and make visible the invisible. In this remarkable novel, the children’s zest for life and the beauty of the world around them ensure that their dramatic and poetic story, while dealing with the appalling reality of street children’s lives, is uplifting to the spirit.


'If you can imagine a hybrid of City of God and The Wizard of Oz, then Pepsi and Maria comes close.' - Independent

'A Beautifully crafted, multi-faceted book: a highly dramatic and gripping thriller and a searing indictment of cruelty and inhumanity' - New Internationalist


About the Author


Adam Zameenzad Adam Zameenzad was born in Pakistan and spent his early childhood in Nairobi. He went to university in Lahore, Pakistan, becoming a lecturer there, and later came to live and work in the UK. Adam Zameenzad is one of the most exciting and fascinating authors at work today and has been described as a ‘jewel in the crown of English literature’. He has had five novels published to great acclaim, and has been translated into many languages. The French rights of Pepsi and Maria have already been sold to Christian Bourgois Editeur. To visit Adam Zameenzad's website, click here.

Praise for Adam Zameenzad

  • The Thirteenth House (Winner of the David Higham Prize, longlisted for the Booker Prize)
    A forceful, moving and confident debut. — The Times Literary Supplement
  • My Friend Matt and Hena the Whore (Film rights sold to Franc Roddam, director of Quadrophenia)
    Outstanding … a remarkable achievement. — The Guardian
  • Love, Bones and Water
    Quite unlike anything else recently published ... remarkable for its clarity. — Daily Telegraph
  • Cyrus Cyrus (Longlisted for the Booker Prize)
    Brilliant – truly funny and gloriously inventive. — Sunday Times
  • Gorgeous White Female
    An artfully constructed novel, playfully imaginative. — Time Out


Pepsi and Maria was published on 5th May 2004


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