Nadeem Aslam: Like dew on a petal

No one could doubt the intensity of Nadeem Aslam's commitment to the writer's life. The author of Season of the Rainbirds (1993), which won the Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel award, has spent 11 years producing his second novel, Maps for Lost Lovers (Faber, 24th, h/b, £16.99, 0571221897).

They have not been 11 years spent living in Hampstead on a private income. Aslam, who was born in Pakistan, and moved to West Yorkshire in his early teens, is of working-class stock; money has been a constant problem.

"The first novel won a number of awards, so at the...

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