In an unnamed town Jugnu and his lover Chanda have disappeared. Rumours abound in the close-knit Pakistani community, and then on a snow-covered January morning Chanda's brothers are arrested for murder. Telling the story of the next twelve months, Maps for Lost Lovers opens the heart of a family at the crossroads of culture, community, ...
In an unnamed town Jugnu and his lover Chanda have disappeared. Rumours abound in the close-knit Pakistani community, and then on a snow-covered January morning Chanda's brothers are arrested for murder. Telling the story of the next twelve months, Maps for Lost Lovers opens the heart of a family at the crossroads of culture, community, nationality and religion, and expresses their pain in a language that is arrestingly poetic. 'This is a deeply pastoral novel, tied to the seasons and resonating with birdsong ...Like Aslam, I was heartbroken when the dense, dark tapestry was finished.' Independent on Sunday 'Despite the violence that lies at the heart of the novel, it is a celebration of love and life. Sights and sounds, smells and colours are not so much vivid backdrops for the narrative as structural, mood- and texture-enhancing parts of it ...This is that rare sort of book that gives a voice to those voices that are seldom heard.' Observer
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Wonderful novel with gorgeous metaphor upon metaphor. The most intriguing book I have read in the last few years, which added greatly to my understanding of Muslim life in England. Strongly recommended.
Jul 2, 2007
Trying Too Hard
Nadeem Aslam is another one in an increasing number of authors from the sub-continent writing about the everyday trials and tribulations of Indians and Pakistanis living abroad. So, what makes him different than the others? Perhaps it is his ability to knit together several plots and make them into one whole. But to me and my reading circle this happened to be his biggest vice too ; touching too many subjects in one book. His character portrayal is no doubt fantastic that many sub-continental immigrants can relate to. What detracts from an over-all good book is a lack of spontaneity. It seems that Mr. Aslam is 'trying hard' to write a prize winner and at moments loses his grip as happens with all literature that doesn't come straight from the heart.
May 3, 2007
Charming ride through the lives of immigrants
As a reflection of the increasing diversity in Western societies because of the "flat-earth" phenomenon, we have a lot of books trying to open windows into the lives of immigrants. But Nadeem Aslam does an exemplary job at this. His portrayal of Kaukab in this novel is most laudable.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-03-07 In this poignant, lushly written novel, Aslam (Season of the Rainbirds) explores the interwoven lives of Pakistani immigrants in an English town they have rechristened Dasht-e-Tanhaii, "the Wilderness of Solitude" or "the Desert of Loneliness." The disappearance of Jugnu and Chanda, lovers who broke Islamic law to live in sin, throws the small community into upheaval. The police arrest Chanda's brothers, whom they believe murdered the couple to avenge their family's shame. Meanwhile, Jugnu's brother, Shamas, contemplates the loss, occasionally clashing with his wife, Kaukab, a devout Muslim who overtly disapproved of the relationship. Aslam depicts an insular ex-pat Pakistani community fighting to preserve its cultural heritage and losing the battle to its Western-born children often quite violently. At the heart of the turmoil is sexual freedom, and Aslam illustrates the many ways women's lives are restricted and romantic love is denied in the name of religion. At times, Aslam's critique grows didactic, as when he saddles his characters with long stretches of wooden, philosophical dialogue. But in Kaukab, the lonely, sympathetic believer who inadvertently alienated her own children, Aslam personifies the conflicts of acculturation, crafting a truthful story that resists easy conclusions. (May 8) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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