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The Blind Man's Garden

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The Blind Man's Garden Cover

ISBN13: 9780307961716
ISBN10: 0307961710
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family’s losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses.

Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can’t have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan—not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians—Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him.

Yet Jeo’s and Mikal’s good intentions cannot keep them out of harm’s way. As the narrative takes us from the wilds of Afghanistan to the heart of the family left behind—their blind father, haunted by the death of his wife and by the mistakes he may have made in the name of Islam and nationhood; Mikal’s beloved brother and sister-in-law; Jeo’s wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother—we see all of these lives upended by the turmoil of war.

In language as lyrical as it is piercing, in scenes at once beautiful and harrowing, The Blind Man’s Garden unflinchingly describes a crucially contemporary yet timeless world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and where the desire to return home burns brightest of all.

Review:

"When foster brothers Jeo and Mikal decide to leave Pakistan for Afghanistan in order to help the wounded, they have no idea what this simple desire to help will cost themselves and their loved ones. Award-winning novelist Nadeem Aslam's fourth novel (The Wasted Vigil, Maps for Lost Lovers) chronicles the story of a family in Pakistan immediately after 9/11, where politics and religion color almost every aspect of daily life but love and family still reign supreme. Although the plot turns on the American and Taliban presence in Afghanistan, the focus is on humanizing those that get caught in between and the personal reasons that inform their decisions and alliances. While Jeo and Mikal navigate the dangers of Afghanistan, Jeo's bride, Naheed, helps her father-in-law, Rohan, transition into a life without sight. The relationship between the Christian school where Rohan's daughter, Yasmin, and her husband work and the rest of the community also becomes fraught with hostility, as militant Islamists begin to question its presence. Aslam shows the difficulties of living in a place where religion rules everyday living, but stresses the universality of their sufferings and desires. There are fits of beauty and lyricism through the novel, but the uneven pacing leaves the novel unbalanced. However, Aslam gives an empathetic, unbiased look at one of the most polarizing issues of the day and allows us to see the humanity in those that we call our enemy. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family’s losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses.

Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can’t have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan—not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians—Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him.

Yet Jeo’s and Mikal’s good intentions cannot keep them out of harm’s way. As the narrative takes us from the wilds of Afghanistan to the heart of the family left behind—their blind father, haunted by the death of his wife and by the mistakes he may have made in the name of Islam and nationhood; Mikal’s beloved brother and sister-in-law; Jeo’s wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother—we see all of these lives upended by the turmoil of war.

In language as lyrical as it is piercing, in scenes at once beautiful and harrowing, The Blind Man’s Garden unflinchingly describes a crucially contemporary yet timeless world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and where the desire to return home burns brightest of all.

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

readerab, June 23, 2013 (view all comments by readerab)
Having emerged from the subway on the clear morning of September 11, 2001 to see the first World Trade Tower burning I have a New Yorker’s perspective on how that day impacted our lives. The Blind Man’s Garden is not the first book of fiction I have read which depicts the challenges faced by ‘everyday people’ in the Muslim world as a result of that day’s events, but for me it was the most vivid. The subject, not the writing, made it a difficult read. When I turned the last page I returned to a real world of choices that the characters I came to know, and the real people they represent, do not have. I recommend this book for anyone who appreciates fiction that provides insight into lives very different from our own.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307961716
Author:
Aslam, Nadeem
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 in 1.4563 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military

The Blind Man's Garden New Hardcover
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Product details 384 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307961716 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When foster brothers Jeo and Mikal decide to leave Pakistan for Afghanistan in order to help the wounded, they have no idea what this simple desire to help will cost themselves and their loved ones. Award-winning novelist Nadeem Aslam's fourth novel (The Wasted Vigil, Maps for Lost Lovers) chronicles the story of a family in Pakistan immediately after 9/11, where politics and religion color almost every aspect of daily life but love and family still reign supreme. Although the plot turns on the American and Taliban presence in Afghanistan, the focus is on humanizing those that get caught in between and the personal reasons that inform their decisions and alliances. While Jeo and Mikal navigate the dangers of Afghanistan, Jeo's bride, Naheed, helps her father-in-law, Rohan, transition into a life without sight. The relationship between the Christian school where Rohan's daughter, Yasmin, and her husband work and the rest of the community also becomes fraught with hostility, as militant Islamists begin to question its presence. Aslam shows the difficulties of living in a place where religion rules everyday living, but stresses the universality of their sufferings and desires. There are fits of beauty and lyricism through the novel, but the uneven pacing leaves the novel unbalanced. However, Aslam gives an empathetic, unbiased look at one of the most polarizing issues of the day and allows us to see the humanity in those that we call our enemy. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family’s losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses.

Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can’t have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan—not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians—Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him.

Yet Jeo’s and Mikal’s good intentions cannot keep them out of harm’s way. As the narrative takes us from the wilds of Afghanistan to the heart of the family left behind—their blind father, haunted by the death of his wife and by the mistakes he may have made in the name of Islam and nationhood; Mikal’s beloved brother and sister-in-law; Jeo’s wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother—we see all of these lives upended by the turmoil of war.

In language as lyrical as it is piercing, in scenes at once beautiful and harrowing, The Blind Man’s Garden unflinchingly describes a crucially contemporary yet timeless world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and where the desire to return home burns brightest of all.

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