The New York Times
The Translatorby Leila Aboulela
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American readers were introduced to the award-winning Sudanese author Leila Aboulela with Minaret, a delicate tale of a privileged young African Muslim woman adjusting to her new life as a maid in London. Now, for the first time in North America, we step back to her extraordinarily assured debut about a widowed Muslim mother living in Aberdeen who falls in love with a Scottish secular academic. Sammar is a Sudanese widow working as an Arabic translator at a Scottish university. Since the sudden death of her husband, her young son has gone to live with family in Khartoum, leaving Sammar alone in cold, gray Aberdeen, grieving and isolated. But when she begins to translate for Rae, a Scottish Islamic scholar, the two develop a deep friendship that awakens in Sammar all the longing for life she has repressed. As Rae and Sammar fall in love, she knows they will have to address his lack of faith in all that Sammar holds sacred. An exquisitely crafted meditation on love, both human and divine, The Translator is ultimately the story of one woman’s courage to stay true to her beliefs, herself, and her newfound love.
The New York Times
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 and grew up in Khartoum, Sudan. She is the author of Minaret and Coloured Lights, and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. The Translator is her first novel and was nominated for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Saltire Prize. Her work has been translated into six languages.
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I've read the Arabic version ; and it was a magnificent piece of fiction. It is the counter part of Al Tayib Salih's "Season of Migration to the North "; while Salih's theme is about the complicated and conflicted relation between East and West, in Aboulela's novel we see a harmonic world where love is the alternative and better world.
I was very excited to get the book.. it wasn't on the shelves and they had to order it for me. The book just did not deliver- overhyped.
A story of a young Sudanese widow, Sammar, working as a translator for Rae Isles, an Islamist. What starts off as mutual respect, turns to an unspoken love. One that will ultimately not last the test of time and faith. AN enjoyable read that I recommend to all.