“Things became terrible while you were dead”

Lyrical, lush and poetic in descriptions of both beauty and horror, the book rings with  honesty, moving the reader through a range of emotions without a hint of manipulation.

nadeen aslamThat is how I described Nadeem Aslam’s The Blind Man’s Garden after reading the first 100 pages. And the description remains relevant now that I’ve finished the book.

The title of this post comes from a part of the dialogue between two characters and conveys the fragility and uncertainty of life caused by the invasion of Afghanistan by American forces. A conflict that spills out from the recognised battle front and over geographical borders to affect the lives of average people in nearby regions, sandwiched between the  forces of extremist religion and extreme nationalism their homelands become the venue of a fight  they didn’t seek.

Aslam is an author I’ll certainly read again, I’ll be looking out for his other books. I’ve had a look on the Book Depository site and have added them to my wishlist. One is still available in hardcover which is my preference, but for the cost of that I could buy two novels in paperback. I have to decide which path to take, whether I’d eventually regret the paperback option.

Here is a link to a recording of Aslaam talking about The Blind Man’s Garden (22 mins).


One thought on ““Things became terrible while you were dead”

  1. Fantastic to listen to; thank you for that. He’s certainly enthusiastic and interesting.

    The interviewer was good, too.

    The joke was brightening.

    There was a lot I could identify with.

    Here’s what I’ll quote because of the politics:
    If I had a son, he would look like one of those 49
    drone victims over there in Pakistan, now, who are,
    on a good day, being killed on suspicion of being a terrorist;
    on a bad day they’re not even that, they are… collateral dammage.

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