‘Wasted Vigil’ sheds new light on Afghanistan

The Sayid Saigol Auditorium at the Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS) hosted the book reading of Nadeem Aslam’s latest publication, ‘Wasted Vigil’ on Friday evening.

The book is a journey to the past, as it picks up 25 years ago to showcase and analyse the curse of barbaric extremists that now plague Afghanistan. ‘Wasted Vigil’ is the author’s third publication and easily achieves the status of one of his most powerful novels yet. The work highlights the lives of five varying individuals and the impact of the ‘war on terror’ on them.

History’s reflection:

 At the book reading, the author explained what made him write his books. He said his fiction reflected history, claiming the subcontinent’s realities were a tad too real to ignore and needed to be spread to the masses.

As part of the event, Nadeem read extracts from his book and then talked about its contents with the audience. The book is an elegantly crafted tale of latter day Afghanistan, parts of which the author travelled to as part of research for his novel. The cover of the paperback version of the novel features Steve McCurry’s photograph of a pashtun girl in a Peshawar Refugee Camp. The same photographer captured Sharbat Gul, the Afghan girl whose eyes still haunt the world from a Nat Geo cover.

Teaching through talking:

Since the auditorium was full of students, Nadeem Aslam carefully explained the technicalities of his writing. He explained how he injected life into his texts, how he formed his sentences and how aspiring writers could create something that stood out. In the question and answer session, the participants asked meaningful questions, at times challenging the author to look at his own work in a different light. The author carefully cleared all confusions regarding the book and later signed all copies of his three books that were for sale outside the auditorium.

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