Jane Charteris

Sudan Impact

Lyrics Alley

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 310pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Lyrics Alley, Leila Aboulela’s third novel, is set in 1950s Sudan as independence from Britain and Egypt approaches. It is the graceful and elegantly told saga of the powerful and affluent Abuzeid family, merchants of Umdurman, the commercial capital of Sudan which sits across the River Nile from Khartoum. The book explores tensions and contradictions within Islam and Sudan still relevant today, in particular those which affect women. Indeed, life for Sudan’s educated middle classes in the 1950s, based on this reading, seems to have been altogether more full of possibilities than it is now, after two decades of civil war and the spread of a more restrictive Islam.

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