Khartoum, according to one theory, takes its name from the Beja word hartooma, meaning meeting place . Geographically, culturally and historically, the Sudanese capital is certainly that: a meeting place of the Blue and White Niles, a confluence of Arabic and African histories, and a destination point for countless refugees displaced by Sudan s long, troubled history of forced migration. In the pages of this book the first major anthology of Sudanese stories to be translated into English the city also stands as a meeting place for ideas: where the promise and glamour of the big city meets its tough social realities; where traces of a colonial past are still visible in day-to-day life; where the dreams of a young boy, playing in his fathers shop, act out a future that may one day be his. Diverse literary styles also come together here: the political satire of Ahmed al-Malik; the surrealist poetics of Bushra al-Fadil; the social realism of the first postcolonial authors; and the lyrical abstraction of the new Iksir generation. As with any great city, it is from these complex tensions that the best stories begin.
"An exciting, long-awaited collection showcasing some of Sudan's finest writers. There is urgency behind the deceptively languorous voices and a piercing vitality to the shorter forms. These writers lay claim over the contradictions and fusions of the capital city - Nile and drought, urbanization and village ties, what is African and what is Arab." - Leila Aboulela
About the author
Raph Cormack is a Wolfson Foundation doctoral student in Arabic literature at the University of Edinburgh writing about Oedipus on the Nile. He has written on Arabic literature and culture for several publications, including Prospect, Rowayat, and the TLS. He also runs a small translation blog featuring selections from Egyptian and Sudanese writings. Max Shmookler is a doctoral student in the department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University, where his research focuses on Sudanese literary history. He lived for many years in Cairo and has travelled broadly in the Middle East. His first collection of translations (with Najlaa Othman) was published online by Words Without Borders.
You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.