One to watch: Mirza Waheed | Books | The Observer

The Collaborator, the BBC journalist’s debut novel, has moved men to tears

Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy, The Observer

Mirza Waheed Author Mirza Waheed

Mirza Waheed’s debut novel, The Collaborator, chronicles the horror and casual violence of life in Kashmir, his native land, caught in a tug of war between India, Pakis tan and China. The 36-year-old journalist-turned-novelist, now based in London and working for the BBC Urdu service, insisted that the first public reading of The Collaborator was held in Kashmir. The audience was moved to tears by it. One man, utterly overcome, begged him to stop.

Set in the early 1990s, The Collaborator begins as conflict reaches the isolated village of Nowgam, close to the Pakistan border. As one of the few civilians still living in the area, the book’s 19-year-old protagonist is forced to work for the Indian army, counting corpses. All his friends have slipped across the border to join the rebel movement and he fears he will find their bodies among the dead.

Informed by the author’s own experiences, the book places the plight of this often overlooked corner of the world at centre stage.

 

This book is available at Liberty Books stores.

 

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