leila aboulela

An intriguing novel and a delight to read

If Herman Hesse were alive today, he’d fall in love with Lyrics Alley, a story that resonates with the theme of his famous short story The Poet: the solitary life and mission of the poet. But Leila Aboulela’s novel depicts that theme with arguably more intrigue, depth, and complexity, as it tells its story of self-determination, fate, love, and the intrinsic value of art. The novel takes place in the Sudanese city of Umdurman in the early 1950’s, which was a critical time in Sudanese history.

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An excerpt from Leila Aboulela’s latest book

Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela is the evocative story of an affluent Sudanese family shaken by the shifting powers in their country and the near-tragedy that threatens the legacy they’ve built for decades. Moving from Sudanese alleys to cosmopolitan Cairo and a decimated postcolonial Britain, this sweeping tale of desire, loss, despair, and reconciliation is one of the most accomplished portraits ever written about Sudanese society at the time of independence. Here is a short excerpt.

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