This is a book cover illustration I created for Nadeem Aslam, a prize-winning British Pakistani novelist, for his novel, 'The Wasted Vigil'.
"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. Aslam reveals the intertwining paths that these characters have travelled, constructing a timely and intimate portrait of the complex ties that bind us and the wars that continue to tear us apart."
‘A stark and uneasy brutality runs through this elegantly crafted tale of latterday Afghanistan...Beautiful.’ — The Guardian
‘Moral complication on display...This novel is more expansive than his previous ones, documenting several decades intensely and several centuries tangentially. It seeks to reveal the psyche not just of one rural village or one immigrant community but of Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States and Afghanistan. The revelations throughout are artful, at times carrying a dramatic emotional impact.’ — The New York Times
‘Sprawling epic of a novel... Nadeem Aslam's poetic narrative takes in the explosive realities of Afghanistan. He navigates this minefield with sharp reflexes and a rare poise. The book is beautiful and brutal; butterflies, moths, flowers, gems, paintings, poetry and stone Buddhas keep erupting in the middle of this desolate landscape...Skilfully weaves in key moments from a tortured history.’ — The Independent
‘The power of Nadeem Aslam's novel The Wasted Vigil lies in the explosive adjacency of brutality and love, the poison of fanaticism diluted by the perfume of Persian lilacs.’ — O, Oprah Magazine ‘Ambitious and luminous ... The Wasted Vigil reminds us that fiction can do things that mere reportage can’t ... Aslam does not simply appropriate a few headlines for easy currency. He has immersed himself in a country and a culture.’ —Peter Parker, Sunday Times