Nadeem Aslam was born in Pakistan in 1966, moving to the UK as a teenager. Here he studied Biochemistry in Manchester, before leaving the course to pursue his writing. He is the author of Season of the Rainbirds (1993) and Maps for Lost Lovers (2004). His most recent novel, The Wasted Vigil, was published in 2008. Naddem Aslam lives in london. He wrote the novella which opens our Pakistan issue, ‘Leila in the Wilderness’. With its story of a woman severely punished every time she gives birth to a baby girl, and a mosque that appears magically on an island overnight, it marries ancient myth with some of Pakistan’s more contemporary concerns. Nadeem Aslam’s previous contribution to Granta was published in issue 93: ‘God’s Own Countries’, for which a group of writers was invited to relate their experiences of religion.