“Vivid . . . fleet and engrossing . . . [Full of ] a generosity of spirit that extends to all her characters.” Jan Stuart, The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Award for Fiction and short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (South Asia and Europe
), Lyrics Alley
is the evocative story of an affluent Sudanese family shaken by the startling shifts in their country’s politics and their family’s legacy.
In 1950’s Sudan
, Mahmoud Abuzeid has amassed a fortune through his trading firm. But when his son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to his business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, the family is suddenly confronted with an uncertain future. As British rule nears its end, the country is torn between modernizing influences and the call of traditions pasta conflict reflected in the growing tensions between Mahmoud’s two wives: Nabilah, who longs to return to Egypt
and escape “backward-looking” Sudan
, while Waheeba lives traditionally, confined to her open-air kitchen. It’s not until Nur asserts himself outside his parents’ cultural limits that the frayed bonds of his family begin to mend.
Hailed by Library Journal
as Aboulela’s “breakthrough novel,” Lyrics Alley
is one of the most accomplished portraits ever written about Sudanese society at the time of independence.