The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam

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Synopsis

In The Wasted Vigil, Nadeem Aslam, the award-winning author of Maps for Lost Lovers, brilliantly knits together five seemingly unconnected lives to create a luminous story set in contemporary Afghanistan.There’s Marcus, an English expat who was married to an outspoken Afghani doctor; David, a former American spy; Lara, from St. Petersburg, looking for traces of her brother, a Russian soldier who disappeared years before; Casa, a young Afghani whose hatred of the Americans has plunged him into the blinding depths of zealotry; and James, an American Special Forces soldier. Aslamreveals the intertwining paths that these characters have traveled, constructing a timely and intimate portrait of the complex ties that bind us and the wars that continue to tear us apart.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Nadeem Aslam

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Nadeem Aslam is the author of three highly acclaimed novels: Season of the Rainbirds, which won a Betty Trask Award and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize; Maps for Lost Lovers, winner of the Kiriyama Prize, short-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and named a New York Times Notable Book; and, most recently, The Wasted Vigil, short-listed for the Prix Femina Étranger and the Prix Médicis Étranger. He is also the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship. In 2012 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
 
Published September 9, 2008 by Vintage. 338 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wasted Vigil

Kirkus Reviews

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Additional layers of information surface via the involvement of David, a CIA agent who fell in love with Zameen and whose story exposes the role of local warlords, the American mindset and the United States’s complicity in the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The New York Times

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Novels by Francesca Marciano (“The End of Manners”) and James Meek (“We Are Now Beginning Our Descent”) and Tom Bissell’s wonderful short story “Death Defier” all feature Western journalists as protagonists, English-speakers whose encounters with Afghanistan refrain from any ambitious sweep.

Oct 11 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The Guardian

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The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Nadeem Aslam's humane new novel follows the fortunes of three charac...

May 31 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The Guardian

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The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop In a disused perfume factory beneath Tora Bora, three survivors of A...

Jun 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The Guardian

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Nadeem Aslam is a gifted and scrupulous writer, who has published just three novels in the past 15 years.

Sep 20 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The Guardian

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At a moment of high drama, with a man rushing to intercept an endangered woman by night, Aslam inserts not one but two little digressions, one about landmines in the Eighties and the other about a book of paintings ('He has seen a jewel-like miniature from the 16th century, depicting Jalal in his...

Oct 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

BC Books

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The Wasted Vigil is an interesting look into Afghanistan and the Soviet war that helped cripple its current state, with a cast of eclectic and unique characters, and the ability to strike right into the reader's heart.

Sep 23 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

BC Books

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And yet Aslam — and the readers — get a glimpse into Casa's reasoning, his faith, and while it will be alien to many readers, it's a valiant attempt to express what would lead to this extremist point of view.

Sep 23 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

BC Books

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Marcus takes in several emotional refuges into his home, including the Soviet born Lara, who searches for answers to her soldier brother's disappearance, and Zameen's American lover, David.

Sep 23 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The Independent

FABER & FABER £17.99 (372PP) £16.29 (FREE P&P) FROM 0870 079 8897 In the opening chapter of The Wasted Vigil, we meet Marcus, an Englishman gone native in Afghanistan.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The Telegraph

About halfway through Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Nadeem Aslam's first novel, a Pakistani villager questions a visitor from the city: "Why are you journalists always chasing after weird stories?

Sep 06 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

The Bookbag

Summary: Lara's search for her brother brings her to the strange residence of Marcus Caldwell where, over a few days, people begin to converge whose lives are more interlinked than they can possibly imagine.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

Tampa Bay Times

The presence of a Buddha in Marcus' house, given the actual destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban, is employed aptly by Aslam as a connecting thread.

Nov 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

London Review of Books

This makes things more complicated, not least because we can’t set up an easy opposition between Anglophone diasporic Pakistani writing and Urdu-language literature – between the native and the foreign – because Hamid’s response to Camus must have a deep and long lineage in Urdu cosmopolitanism a...

Aug 27 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

Bookmarks Magazine

Maya Muir St. Petersburg Times 4 of 5 Stars "A pragmatist, Aslam takes no sides in the fight between Islam and the West, even as he approaches a rigid stance against terrorism.

Sep 14 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

Oprah.com

Scratch the surface of war-bruised Afghanistan—every tribe and nation's stomping ground—and you unearth precious works of art condemned as idolatry, traces of forbidden melodies, sensuous relics of a buried civilization.

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Austin Chronicle

Momentarily disregarding its centrality to the centuries-old great game, in just the last 30 years Afghanistan has endured an imperialist war with the Soviet Union, a civil war with the Taliban, and now America's ongoing war on terror.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

BookRack

They know exactly what is required.” “On the journey towards the beloved, you live by dying at every step” “How keen everyone is to make this world their home forgetting its impermanence It’s like trying to see and name constellations in a fireworks display.” The literary and historical refere...

Jun 04 2012 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

Live Journal

In looking for other critical conversations to enter into based upon the novel, I am struck most particularly by a repeated sentiment appearing in most of the reviews, including the one offered by The New York Times, regarding the lyricism in Aslam’s novel.

Aug 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

Charleston City Paper

I originally approached Nadeem Aslam's The Wasted Vigil with trepidation.

Nov 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wasted Vigil

Reader Rating for The Wasted Vigil
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