Nominated by:

Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand

Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Faber & Faber, UK

Alfred A. Knopf, USA

The Blind Man’s Garden

Nadeem Aslam      

2015 Longlist

From the author of Maps for Lost Lovers and The Wasted Vigil comes 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, foster-brothers from a small Pakistani town, secretly enter Afghanistan: not to fight with the Taliban, but to help care for wounded civilians. But it soon becomes apparent that good intentions can’t keep them out of harm’s way …

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; Jeo’s wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother – Aslam takes us on an extraordinary journey.

In language as lyrical as it is piercing, The Blind Man’s Garden unflinchingly describes a topical yet timeless world, powerfully evoking a place where the line between friend and enemy can be lost and where the desire to return home can burn brightest of all.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Nadeem Aslam is the author of three previous novels, Season of the Rainbirds, Maps for Lost Lovers – longlisted for the Booker Prize, shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Kiriyama Prize and the Encore Award – and The Wasted Vigil, described by A. S. Byatt as ‘unforgettable … tragic and beautifully written’. Born in Pakistan, he now lives in England.

Librarians’ Comments

In the midst of the war on terror, reason, human fallibility and fanaticism co-exist uncomfortably in a Pakistani village. Nadeem Aslam’s moving yet unsentimental novel reveals different kinds of courage in the midst of an absurd and brutal conflict.

Nadeem Aslam writes beautiful prose from the heart that examines Islam vividly and passionately.

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