--Winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Award for Fiction--Short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (South Asia and Europe)--Long listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction "Aboulela's vivid . . . fleet and engrossing narrative . . . [is full of] a generosity of spirit that extends to all her characters."--"The New York Times Book Review " "A novel as thoughtful as it is evocative . . . Aboulela writes with precision and depth of feeling."--"The Boston Globe" "Beautifully rendered . . . The prose is smooth and clear. . . . As a tale of stricken love between two souls, Lyrics Alley is impressive."--"The Guardian" "Leila Aboulela's "Lyrics Alley" gives us the rich and complex world of a Sudanese patriarch in the 1950s who presides over a household containing two wives, various nieces, two sons--a new world full of modern ambitions and ancient problems. I read it with the delight one has suddenly stumbling on lush and abundant hidden gardens behind foreign city walls, various with its own life and laws, and infinitely satisfying."--Sarah Blake, author of" The Postmistress " "[Aboulela's] breakthrough novel . . . Real, compelling, and ultimately moving . . . Highly recommended for readers who enjoy family sagas set against a political backdrop, such as Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart "and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "Half a Yellow Sun.""--"Library Journal" (starred review) "Rich in detail and generous in spirit toward its complex characters, ["Lyrics Alley"] showcases Aboulela's talent for connecting political and personal upheaval. [An] elegantly written family epic that brings to mind Naguib Mahfouz's "The Cairo Trilogy.""--"Kirkus Reviews" "Haunting . . . Keeps the reader gripped . . . A tale of powerful feelings and potent words . . . this visceral, epic novel . . . gives fascinating insights into Sudanese society, with different characters embodying the dramatic clash between traditionn
A sophisticated and emotionally resonant tale. SUNDAY HERALD 20120205 Leila Aboulel's delightful novel explores the relationship between the personal and the political in a time of upheaval INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
A lyrical and moving novel by a twice ORANGE-listed rising star, set in 1950s Sudan and Egypt.
Set in 1950s Sudan, LYRICS ALLEY is the story of the powerful and sprawling Abuzeid dynasty. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, the family can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud's son, Nur - the brilliant, charming heir to his business empire - suffers a near-fatal accident, his hopes of university and a glittering future are dashed. Subsequently, his betrothal to his cousin and sweetheart, Soraya is broken off. As British rule is coming to an end, and the country is torn between modernising influences and the call of traditions past, the family is divided. Mahmoud's second wife, Nabilah, longs to return to Egypt and leave behind the dust of 'backward-looking' Sudan. His first wife, Waheeba, is confined to her open-air kitchen and resents Nabilah's influence on Mahmoud. Meanwhile, Nur must find a way to live again in the world and find peace. Moving from the villages of Sudan to cosmopolitan Cairo and a decimated post-colonial Britain, this is a sweeping tale of love, loss, faith and reconciliation.
About the Author
Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 in Cairo and grew up in Khartoum. She came to England to study at the LSE and now lives between Doha and Aberdeen.