Nadeem Aslam

Nadeem Aslam’s deftly crafted novels explore historical and political trauma with lyricism and profound compassion.

Nadeem Aslam was born in Pakistan, but moved to England as a teenager when his father, a communist poet, was forced into exile. He learned to speak and write in English by copying out entire novels by hand. He is the author of five highly-regarded works of fiction: Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Maps for Lost Lovers (2004), The Wasted Vigil (2008), The Blind Man’s Garden (2013), and, most recently, The Golden Legend (2017). In each he explores with penetrating lyricism the many fateful encounters between Islam and the West. His characters are often deeply religious and conservative, disenchanted with the modern world, and suspicious of the West, especially the United States. Aslam’s great gift is to render the thoughts and actions of those who are most exposed to the dislocations and disruptions of history in ways that bring forth their full humanity. The consequences of the choices his characters make feel as momentous in the world in which the novels take place as they do in the one in which the reader lives.

Artists are moths, chewing holes in the robes of the powerful and the unjust. My work is a private response to the world I live in, so when readers agree with what I have written I am deeply grateful because it makes me feel less alone. NADEEM ASLAM