Books: Nadeem Aslam Talks about his Latest Book The Wasted Vigil

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The Wasted Vigil CoverNadeem Aslam’s latest novel, The Wasted Vigil, set in post Taliban Afghanistan, was published on the 4th September 2008 by Faber & Faber in hardback. pp. 369, rrp £17.99.  In the recording below Nadeem Aslam talks to Kazbah about the influences and inspirations behind The Wasted Vigil.
Nadeem Aslam
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Click HERE for The Wasted Vigil on faber and Faber’s website.

4 Responses
  1. Nicholas :

    Date: October 22, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    A most interesting and well conducted interview. Thank you.

    I should have been interested to know what Nadeem thought separates the militant from the non militant muslims. It cannot just be the teaching by a few radicals. It must be engrained in some way or another within a grudge harboured by cetain people in certain areas, for the vast majority of muslims are peaceable.

  2. Michelle Golder :

    Date: April 2, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

    Nadeem Aslam is appearing at Cambridge Wordfest to talk about (and read from) his new novel on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 2.30. You can find out more from the wordfest website, Kamila Shamsie is appearing as well, on the Sunday at 10.30.

  3. John Cudahy :

    Date: September 21, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

    A brilliant writer and an authentic human being. Why can’t Canada, USA, Europe produce such a creative, fascinating man of
    both knowledge and wisdom.

  4. Tokujiro :

    Date: October 6, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

    A friend in Sydney recently recommended that I read “The Wasted Vigil”. I picked it up from my pile of unread books last night and I have just put it down. What an astounding book. All the more poignant for the fact that Australian complicity in the “Bush Boys Own” (and yes, I understand this dreadful interference goes way back - and has since continued on - even under OBAMA and RUDD - though BROWN has this very day refused the sending of further British troops, I note) sees one of my nephews currently in Afghanistan. Another English cousin who has flown bombing missions over both Afghanistan and Iraq. US and other English cousins have been sent to serve in Iraq. The thing that distinguishes the writing of Nadeem ASLAM even beyond the technical brilliance of story structure and of imagery is the clear compassion and humanity with which he strews the characters of this tale. This is not a tabloid newspaper black-and-white/good-and-bad explanation of one the great contemporary tragedies of our world - rather it is a peeling back of the rose-petal layers of truth and reason for the decisions and consequences of all that happens. Of human frailty, ignorance (not wilful) and of connectedness throughout our world, too. One of my great great great grand-father’s was exiled to an infant penal colony in Australia in the 1790s from Golcar, just 4 kms above Huddersfield, where the author grew up from age 14 or 15. An aunt lived in Montana with her WWII Canadian airforce husband in the 1950s. Searching, when I was nearing 20, for a faith to replace the narrow fundamentalism of a US-style Protestantism in which I had been reared, I read the Koran. Amazed to find the same tales I knew from the Bible. My faith now devolves upon good human beings - and after some 16 years in Japan - my guides are two sayings: (1) Buddhist: “The World is a Mirror” (reflecting us back to ourselves); and (2) Tea Ceremony maxim from the 16th century: “One Time, One Meeting” (any meeting, every meeting - is important)! I am digressing. One of my first thoughts upon completing the novel was that every political leader - especially those with countries involved militarily or otherwise complicit in the mess of Afghanistan - should read it. Nadeem ASLAM - thank-you for your heart, thank-you for the time you have taken in the writing of this masterpiece to make us think.

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