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Nadeem Aslam  [ Pakistan, United Kingdom ]

Biography

Portrait Aslam
Copyright Aslam / C . Richard Lea-Hair

Guest 2014, 2017.

Bibliography

Season of the Rainbirds

André Deutsch

London, 1993

Atlas für verschollene Liebende

Rowohlt

Reinbek, 2005

[Ü: Rosetta Stein]

Das Haus der fünf Sinne

Rowohlt

Reinbek, 2010

[Ü: Bernhard Robben]

Der Garten des Blinden

DVA

München, 2014

[Ü: Bernhard Robben]

Die goldene Legende

DVA

München, 2017

[Ü: Bernhard Robben]

Nadeem Aslam was born in 1966 in the Punjabi city of Gujranwala, Pakistan. To escape persecution by General Zia-ul-Haq’s regime, his father, a communist poet and filmmaker, moved with his family to the UK when Aslam was 14. They eventually settled in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He studied biochemistry and literature at the University of Manchester, but dropped out in his third year to pursue a career in writing.

Alsam’s great skill as a storyteller is already evident in »Season of the Rainbirds« (1993), a close study of the different social classes in Pakistan. A bag of mail lost in a train crash in the provinces two decades earlier is rediscovered, the letters it holds exposing the borderlines between time, place and attitudes of the villagers. Aslam brings to life a multi-layered portrait of a politically and religiously divided country and – even more importantly – illustrates these closely observed contrasting realities with writing. In his second novel, »Maps for Lost Lovers« (2004), an isolated setting once again serves as a backdrop to illuminate the bottomless pit of religiously motivated violence. Through the prism of an ›honor‹ killing in a small English town, he examines divergent perceptions of love, faith and justice from a variety of perspectives. »The Wasted Vigil« (2008) recounts the history of Afghanistan, from the Soviet invasion to the hunt for terrorists in Tora-Bora, through the stories of the novel’s characters and their respective convictions and personal losses. »The Blind Man’s Garden« (2013) reinterprets the Punjabi tragic romance »Heer Ranjha« and weaves it a plot set against the backdrop of the war on terror. Praised by critics as Aslam’s most mature work until then, the novel was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014. Set in contemporary Pakistan, »The Golden Legend« (2017), the story of a Muslim widow and her Christian neighbors whose community is eclipsed by savage, religious intolerance, considers survival strategies in the face of violence, corruption and terrorism.

Aslam is a recipient of the Betty Trask Award, the Author’s Club First Novel Award, the Encore Award, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize and the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize from Yale University. In 2006 he was also shortlisted for the British Book Awards as well as the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Aslam lives in London.

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