Season of the Rainbirds by Nadeem Aslam newly listed for sale on the fantastic BookLovers of Bath web site!André Deutsch, 1993, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Jacket illustration: A Tree with Crows, Bundi, Rajasthan, c1850, courtesy of the board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
From the cover: A sack of letters lost in a train crash nineteen years before has mysteriously reappeared, and the inhabitants of a little town in Pakistan are waiting to see what long-buried secrets will come to light. Could the letters have any bearing on Judge Anwars murder? District Commissioner Azhar is in charge of the investigation but the rumour that he is living in sin with a Christian woman intrigues the townsfolk more than the threat of the letters or even the murder itself: especially the men who, one after another, contrive to bring this scandal to the attention of their devout and ageing priest.
Maulana Hafeez, unlike the new cleric whose congregation swells as his shrinks, does not see things in black and white. It is hard for him to act decisively and when at last he does, in an act of tragic self-betrayal, terrible violence follows.
Season of the Rainbirds is a novel full of memories and shadows: light years away from the stridency of most contemporary fiction. But in its quiet way and through the sharp lyricism of the writing which makes every sight, sound and smell come alive, Nadeem Aslam has created an exotic and timeless world where the rumble of faraway civil wars, assassinations and changing regimes forms a disquieting background to the traditional rituals of daily life.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Burgundy boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 192 pages. 8¾” x 5½”.
Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I tempt with you something from here?