First Line Fridays 23/07/21

Hey everyone! I’m back, I know its been a fair few days, and I’m really sorry but I’ve been quite busy. All’s well that ends well, I am back, and here we have another First Line Friday. If you don’t know, First Line Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. I will tell you the first line, you can try and guess if you would like to.

It was, gentlemen, after a long absence – seven years to be exact, during which time I was studying in Europe – that I returned to my people.

Which book is it?

I’ll give you a hint… it was originally written in Arabic…

Ok fine, I’ll tell you…

– Season of Migration to the North – Tayeb Salih

After years of study in Europe, the young narrator of Season of Migration to the North returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood—the enigmatic Mustafa Sa’eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land. But what is the meaning of Mustafa’s shocking confession? Mustafa disappears without explanation, leaving the young man—whom he has asked to look after his wife—in an unsettled and violent no-man’s-land between Europe and Africa, tradition and innovation, holiness and defilement, and man and woman, from which no one will escape unaltered or unharmed. Season of Migration to the North is a rich and sensual work of deep honesty and incandescent lyricism. In 2001 it was selected by a panel of Arab writers and critics as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century.

This book is my current read, and it is truly “a rich and sensual work of deep honesty and incandescent lyricism”. I really want to also read the Arabic version, but this book is so so good. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading it.

3 thoughts on “First Line Fridays 23/07/21

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