Excerpt from The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Wasted Vigil

by Nadeem Aslam

The Wasted Vigil
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 336 pages
    Sep 2009, 336 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

“Then where is she at this hour? We are here as part of a big operation in Usha tonight, to capture those who attacked the school earlier this month. We’ll make them pay for the twenty-seven lives we lost.”

The sun was beginning to rise outside when someone came in and said Zameen had been apprehended.

The lapis lazuli of their land was always desired by the world, brushed by Cleopatra onto her eyelids, employed by Michelangelo to paint the blues on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and, from the look of certain sections of the sky above Marcus and Qatrina as they came out into the garden, it could have been Afghanistan’s heights that were mined for lapis lazuli, not its depths.

The couple searched their surroundings and then went into Usha, trying to understand what had happened.

Hours later, as dusk began to fall, Qatrina stood beside an acacia tree, holding with both hands the clothesline tied around the trunk. Marcus thought it was for balance, but then saw that the section of the rope between her hands was tinted indigo, where one of Zameen’s dresses had once seeped colour into it, the dress she must have been wearing when they captured her because it was missing from her room.

He led her back to the house, the perfume from the acacia clinging to her. The djinn were supposed to live in the scent of acacia blossom, making themselves visible only to the young in order to entrap them in otherworldly love.

Excerpted from The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam Copyright © 2008 by Nadeem Aslam. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.