Select one of the keywords
The Blind Man's Garden    by Nadeem Aslam order for
Blind Man's Garden
by Nadeem Aslam
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2014 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Beautifully written, The Blind Man's Garden is another worthy addition to Nadeem Aslam's works of fiction. Two Pakistani men who love the same woman set out to help civilians caught in the post-9/11 battles in Afghanistan. At home their families await them amid troubles of their own.

Depicting the struggles of that time and place, with all the disorders and misunderstandings, beliefs and unbeliefs, Aslam manages to bring out in a most humane way the characters who are driven by these circumstances and events. Descriptions of a garden's perfection vie with taut scenes of war-time cruelty each fighting group metes out to the other and contrasts this with the bewildered innocence of those caught between.

' ... she laughs quietly, and then he stands listening to her breath until the money runs out, the sun rising above Heer and the sky changing colour like someone switching from one language to another, and as in a fairy tale he knows that he'll die if he takes off her chain from around his neck. When he hangs up it is with the bone-deep fear that beauty and loss might be inseparable, but then he thinks of a line from one of Wamaq Saleem's poems. Love is not consolation, it is light.'

Aslam has grasped well, and reminds us, that it is our humanity that will save, if not us as individuals, then the civilization we hope to maintain. A painfully beautiful narrative.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews