Ten years of silence and darkness

Living at the mercy of friends and off the winnings from his debut novel, Nadeem Aslam sequestered himself for ten years, starting at age 26, to write his second book:

Draping the windows with black cloth, he wouldn’t go out for six weeks at a time. Sometimes he would fall asleep on the floor rather than go to the bed. If he did go out he would feel disoriented. “I’d wonder, ‘Why is it snowing?’ because it would be summer in the town I was writing about.” But seclusion was essential. “I always think of the silence and the darkness of a root that enables the flower to grow.”


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