The first novel by the author of Maps for Lost Lovers: a powerful and exquisitely written story set in a small town in Pakistan after the murder of a corrupt and prominent local judge.
When a sack of letters that were thought to have disappeared in a train crash nineteen years earlier reappears under mysterious circumstances, the inhabitants of a secluded Pakistani village wait anxiously to see what secrets may come to light. Could the letters hold any information about Judge Anwar's murder? As Aslam traces the murder investigation over the next eleven days, he explores the impact that these two events have on a variety of people in the town--from the surviving family of the judge to a journalist reporting on the delivery of the mail packet. With great attention to detail and beautiful scenes that explore the daily rhythms of life in Pakistan, Aslam creates an exotic and timeless world whose traditional rituals are played out against an ominous backdrop of faraway civil wars, assassinations, changing regimes, and religious tensions.