Neamat Imam is a Bangladeshi-Canadian writer living in Edmonton. He holds a PhD in theatre studies and has taught English at two universities in Bangladesh. He has authored a play, a collection of poetry and two novellas in Bengali. The Black Coat is his first novel.
It is the 1970s. After a bloody struggle, Bangladesh is an independent nation. But thousands are pouring into Dhaka from all over the country, looking for food and shelter. Amongst them is Nur Hussain, an uneducated young man from a remote village, who is only good at mimicking a famous speech of the prime minister's. He turns up at journalist Khaleque Biswas's doorstep, seeking employment. He is initially a burden for Khaleque, but then Khaleque, who has recently lost his job, has the idea of turning Nur into a fake Sheikh Mujib. WIth the blessings of the political establishment, he starts chasing in on the nationalist frevour of the city's poorest. But even as the money rolls in, the tension between the two men increases and reaches a violent climax when Nur refuses to stick to the script. Intense yet chilling, this brilliant first novel is a meditation on power, greed and the human cost of the politics.