'With flashes of brilliance, tenderness and fury, Mirza Waheed's The Collaborator does what fiction should. It makes you listen' Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things
By the waters running through the valleys of Kashmir, teenage boys come to play cricket, talk about girls, and just be. But a few years later, when they are young men and violence grips the region, they are gone.
Only the son of the local headman has stayed. He knows his friends have slipped over the border to Pakistan, and turned militant to bear arms against the Indian army. He would like to join them - but he cannot.
Instead, put in an impossible position by an Indian army Captain, he must cross into the shadowland between the opposing sides, a ghost walking among the dead. His fate, like that of his lost brothers, unknown . . .
'Waheed's prose burns with the fever of anger and despair; the scenes in the valley are exceptional, conveying, a hallucinatory living nightmare that has become an everyday reality for Kashmiris' Metro
'Waheed builds an atmosphere of menace and despair . . . his tale possesses a disturbing power that is both lingering and profound' Independent on Sunday
'Compelling . . . An important and poetic testimony to an all-too-easily forgotten war' Daily Mail
Mirza Waheed was born and brought up in Kashmir. His debut novel The Collaborator was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Shakti Bhat Prize, and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. It was also book of the year for the Telegraph, New Statesman, Financial Times, Business Standard and Telegraph India. Waheed has written for the BBC, the Guardian, Granta, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times. He lives in London.