BN.com Gift Guide

Lyrics Alley

( 4 )

Overview

Lyrics Alley 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.

In 1950's Sudan, the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune through their trading firm. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, they can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud's son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to the business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, the family stands divided in the...

See more details below
Hardcover
$16.46
BN.com price
(Save 31%)$24.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $3.98   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Lyrics Alley: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$15.00 List Price

Overview

Lyrics Alley 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.

In 1950's Sudan, the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune through their trading firm. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, they can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud's son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to the business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, the family stands divided in the face of an uncertain future. As British rule nears its end, the country is torn between modernizing influences and the call of traditions past—a conflict reflected in the growing tensions between Mahmoud's two wives: the younger, Nabilah, longs to return to Egypt and escape "backward-looking" Sudan; while Waheeba lives traditionally behind veils and closed doors. It's not until Nur asserts himself outside the cultural limits of his parents that his own spirit and the frayed bonds of his family begin to mend.

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Aboulela's third novel, inspired by the life of her uncle, the poet Hassan Awad Aboulela, offers a delightfully quixotic view of northern Sudan in the 1950s on the brink of its independence from Britain and Egypt. Nur is the favored son of the wealthy Abuzeid family, destined to take over the family business, until he is severely injured in an accident. Mahmoud, Nur's father, is both optimist and pragmatist, eager to embrace contemporary mores yet firmly rooted to his homeland. Mahmoud's two wives—Nur's deeply traditional and veiled mother, Waheeba, and Nabilah, a young and homesick Egyptian—have conflicts that swell and erupt in both predictable and surprising ways. The characters are lovingly and precisely rendered, and Aboulela (The Translator) describes the impact of Nur's disability with keen detail and noteworthy empathy. Though the novel offers few glimpses into life outside the Abuzeid's sheltered enclave, paying scant attention to the history and turmoil of an era that left Sudan in a lengthy civil war, Aboulela provides fine insight into the practice of Islam, especially through the children's tutor's thoughts and words, as well as a thoroughly engaging if romanticized exploration of the universal tensions between modernity and tradition, commerce and art, faith and doubt. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This breakthrough novel by the author of Minaret and The Translator recounts the story of the Abuzeid family of Sudan—and a country on the brink of change in the 1950s as British rule nears its end. The Abuzeids are a wealthy, powerful clan, but they are not immune to the conflict between the traditions of the past and the pull of modernization. This struggle is most evident in the animosity between the two wives of patriarch Mahmoud—the Sudanese Waheeba, who values the old ways, and the Egyptian-born Nabilah, who feels suffocated by village life—and in the desires of Mahmoud's niece, Soraya, for both marriage and career. These conflicts erupt when Mahmoud's son, Nur, suffers a catastrophic injury. Somehow, despite great pain, these characters learn to make personal sacrifices and find a way to compromise. Their stories, revealed through the novel's multiple points of view, are real, compelling, and ultimately moving. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers who enjoy family sagas set against a political backdrop, such as Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun. [See "Prepub Exploded," BookSmack!, 9/16/10.]—Evelyn Beck, Piedmont Technical Coll., Greenwood, SC
Kirkus Reviews

A wealthy Muslim family in 1950s Sudan must deal with the challenges—and opportunities—of a changing world.

Director of a successful trading company, Mahmoud Abuzeid has an enviable, if complicated life. With two wives and four children, he straddles two worlds, insulated by his money and influence. His first wife Hajjah Waheeba is a traditional—and illiterate—Sudanese woman who is happy to remain in the family compound. Nabilah, his much-younger Egyptian-born second wife, yearns for the cosmopolitan attractions of her native Cairo. Her sophistication and intelligence represent the future to Mahmoud, who prefers her company. Waheeba's son Nur, the family heir-apparent, has progressive tendencies like his father, although he is happily betrothed to his teenage cousin Soraya. The two are sweetly in love, but their future looks bleak after Nur is paralyzed during a swimming accident. Reluctant to bind his niece to an invalid, Mahmoud insists they break it off. Soraya, who continues to have feelings for Nur, throws herself into her studies, even enrolling in medical school. But eventually she agrees to marry Nur's best friend Tuf Tuf. The news breaks Nur's heart but ignites his creativity, leading him to become an in-demand poet and lyricist for popular musicians—a move which rankles the more conservative family members. Meanwhile, tensions between the two wives reach the breaking point when Waheeba arranges a secret circumcision for Nabilah's six-year-old daughter Ferial, a custom Nabilah (and Mahmoud) find barbaric. This subsequently drives a wedge between Mahmoud and both his women, as he struggles to do the right thing for his family, especially Nur, who depends on the care of his mother. And all of this unfolds as Sudan struggles for independence from Britain. Rich in detail and generous in spirit toward its complex characters, this concise follow-up to The Translator (2006) showcases Aboulela's talent for connecting political and personal upheaval.

Elegantly written family epic that brings to mind Naguib Mahfouz's TheCairo Trilogy.

Jan Stuart
…fleet and engrossing…
—The New York Times
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802119513
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,423,293
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Leila Aboulela won the first Caine Prize for African Writing. She is the author of three books: The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Book of the Year; Minaret; and a book of short stories, Coloured Lights.

Visit her website at leila-aboulela.com

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)