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The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family's losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses. Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can't have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan--not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians--Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him. Yet Jeo's and Mikal's good intentions cannot keep them out of harm's way. As the narrative takes us from the wilds of Afghanistan to the heart of the family left behind--their blind father, haunted by the death of his wife and by the mistakes he may have made in the name of Islam and nationhood; Mikal's beloved brother and sister-in-law; Jeo's wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother--we see all of these lives upended by the turmoil of war. In language as lyrical as it is piercing, in scenes at once beautiful and harrowing, The Blind Man's Garden unflinchingly describes a crucially contemporary yet timeless world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and where the desire to return home burns brightest of all.
In an unnamed town Jugnu and his lover Chanda have disappeared. Rumours abound in the close-knit Pakistani community, and then on a snow-covered January morning Chanda's brothers are arrested for murder. Telling the story of the next twelve months, Maps for Lost Lovers opens the heart of a family at the crossroads of culture, community, nationality and religion, and expresses their pain in a language that is arrestingly poetic.
From the author of Maps for Lost Lovers, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Aslam's exquisite first novel, the powerful story of a secluded Pakistani village after the murder of its corrupt and prominent judge. Judge Anwar's murder sets the people of the village on edge. Their anxieties are compounded when a sack of letters, thought lost in a train crash nineteen years ago, suddenly reappears under mysterious circumstances. What secrets will these letters bring to light? Could the letters shed any light on Judge Anwar's murder? As Aslam traces the murder investigation over the next eleven days, he explores the impact that these two events have on the town's inhabitants--from Judge Anwar's surviving family to the journalist reporting on the delivery of the mail packet. With masterful attention to detail and beautiful scenes that set the rhythms of daily life in Pakistan, Aslam creates a lush and timeless world--played out against an ominous backdrop of religious tensions, assassinations, changing regimes, and faraway civil wars.
From the author of Maps for Lost Lovers, a new novel, at once beautiful and blistering, about war today told through the lives of five people who come together by chance-and tragically revealed circumstance- in post--9/11 Afghanistan. Five disparate lives intersect through decades of invasion, occupation, and violence. There's Marcus, an English expat who was married to an outspoken Afghani doctor-she was murdered by the Taliban-who opens his home to the others, the house itself a strange and beautiful monument to the inconceivable losses his family suffered . . . David, an American, formerly a spy, who has seen the Afghanis through the invasion of the Russians, the domination of the Taliban, and, now, the incursion of the Americans, and who has seen his own ideas of purpose and reason turned inside out . . . Lara, from St. Petersburg, looking for evidence of her brother, a Russian soldier who disappeared years before . . . Casa, a young Afghani whose hatred of the Americans has plunged him into the blinding depths of zealotry . . . and James, an American soldier in the Special Forces in whom David sees a dangerous revival of the unquestioning notions of right and wrong that he himself once held. In mesmerizing, expressive prose, Aslam reveals the intertwining paths that these characters have travelled, and the complex ties-of love and desperation, pain and salvation, madness and clarity-that bind them. Through their stories emerges a portrait both timely and timeless, panoramic and achingly intimate, of the "continuation of wars" that has shaped, and continues to shape, our world. In its combination of radiant language, hypnotic imagery, and unflinching drama,The Wasted Vigil is a luminous work of fiction.
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