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Articles tagged "Sudanese Literature"

A Condition

You’re certain that nothing will dissuade you now. Nothing. Not your neighbors’ invitation to the luncheon to celebrate their boys’ circumcision. Not the kind old lady’s pleading to help her write a letter to her faraway son who never visits. Not the laughter of your three-year-old boy (whose laughter—you would say—sounds like a gurgling stomach). Not the mischievous way he clung to the collar of your jallebeya when you saw him outside just a few moments...

Biting their Mother Tongue: Three Sudanese Short Stories about Estrangement

The three short stories collected here offer a glimpse into contemporary Sudanese understandings of estrangement, a theme with a long history in Arabic letters. From the pre-Islamic renegade poets who chose exile over the social constraints of tribal life to the medieval debates about the treatment of non-Muslims and other foreigners, the intertwined questions of estrangement and belonging have run through Arabic literature. In pre-Islamic times, wandering poets such as Ta’abbata...

from “The Grub Hunter”

Translator’s Note:  The Grub Hunter is the story of a former secret service agent who, on being forced to retire after an accident costs him his right leg, becomes obsessed with the idea of writing a novel. He starts to visit a coffeehouse frequented by literary types, including the renowned author A.T. The grubs, or larvae, of the title are characters and plot ideas that—in the right hands—will develop into good novels.  I approached Qasr al-Jummayz...

from “A Nation behind Bars”

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: The author is Sudanese. This excerpt is a translation from Watanun Khalfa al-Qudban (Beirut: Dar Al Saqi, 2002, ch. 17, pp. 46-52). It takes place in the early to mid-1990s, a time when foreign fighters were entering Sudan hoping to strengthen Islamic law in the country. I would like to thank Diana Abouali and Hussein Kadhim of Dartmouth College for their insightful comments and suggestions on this translation. Rust in the Back of the Head 1 A silent prison....

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