Jamaluddin Aram ’17 of Afghanistan, a writer, documentary filmmaker and producer, has secured a book deal from Scribner, Canada, for his debut novel, “Nothing Good Ever Happens in Wazirabad on a Wednesday.”
The story is set in a working class neighborhood in Kabul, where life roars in full force through the narrow alleys despite the ongoing war, and each day at noon a flaming red rooster walks three blocks to visit his favorite hens.
Aram, who now makes his home in Toronto, focuses on themes of family, immigration, childhood and peace in the time of war. His opinion piece, “In Afghanistan, darkness reigns as the Taliban rule,” recently ran in Canada’s The Globe and Mail.
Last fall, Aram was the first writer to be honored with the Peter Heinegg Literary Award, given by the English Department to a Union student or graduate who has excelled in writing fiction, non-fiction or poetry. The award is named in memory of the professor emeritus of English, who retired in 2017 after 42 years at Union. Heinegg died in June 2021.
In 2020, Aram was named one of three finalists for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in the short fiction category for his story, “This Hard Easy Life.” The prestigious award was established in memory of Wallace, a Canadian poet and short story writer, and is administered by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. The prize is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada.
Aram’s short stories have appeared in Numero Cinq, The Write Launch, Held and Cagibi literary magazines. He also has produced several films about life in Kabul, including the Academy Award-nominated “Buzkashi Boys,” a coming-of-age story about two friends who dream of a better life.
Aram majored in English and history at Union, a place that he says “will forever be close to my heart.” He was active in the French and film clubs and as a student blogger.
His book is due out in 2023.