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Lyrics Alley Paperback – 16 Dec 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition
Paperback, 16 Dec 2010
£47.95 £0.01
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (16 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297860097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297860099
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,375,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The scattered but powerful Abuzeid family are a force in 1950s Sudan. When the patriarch's son is injured, everything must change. A thought provoking glimpse into an unfamiliar society as old ways give way to new. (WOMAN & HOME)

an assured and highly readable portrait of a family in flux and two societies - Sudan and Egypt - on the cusp of momentous changes...Lyrics Alley is an evocative description of the struggle between tradition and modernization, a conflict that is still being fought in present-day Islamic culture. (NEW INTERNATIONALIST)

Soraya is smitten with her cousin, Nur, heir to the family business but everything falls apart when he suffers a near-fatal injury and the betrothal is called off. In beautiful subtle prose Aboulela reveals the emotional consequences of their separation, and how the couple must renegotiate their futures...Aboulela explores themes of love, faith and divided families with tender restraint. (MARIE CLAIRE)

haunting...Vividly evoking the alleyways of Sudan, Egypt and Britain, this novel also movingly and meticulously traces the hidden pathways of the mind and heart with all its anger, shame, hate and love. (Anita Sethi THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Leila Aboulela has created a story for all the senses, one to be savoured and enjoyed. (FINANCIAL TIMES)

a panoramic exposition of a country on the brink of independence, a splendid representation of upper class Sudanese life, and a fascinating exploration of the lives of women...Lyrics Alley is gripping and meticulously researched. (MSLEXIA)

Its themes include desire, love, poetry, popular music, film, privilege and poverty. At the core is the dilemma of a culture torn between the divergent calls of tradition and modernity. This is an unprecedented novel that breaks new ground in writing about Sudanese society at the time of independence¿this is a novel where human stories are writ large in the engaging foreground, with politics and history alluded to with almost demure elegance as part of the scenic backdrop. (Rachel Holmes, Head of Literature and Spoken Word Southbank Centre)

In many respects, Aboulela's family tale is a universal one... Understanding all too well how a family can shape an individual's destiny is what gives her tale its humanity... But it is in her vivid, beautifully original portrayals of battling wives, Nabilah and Waheeba, that her real genius lies. (THE HERALD (Glasgow))

the graceful and elegantly told saga of the powerful and affluent Abuzeid family...The book explores tensions and contradictions within Islam and Sudan still relevant today, in particular those that affect women...Aboulela writes with a light touch. Her sensitivity towards and understanding of her characters' motives ensure that they are people first and never become mere schematic metaphors...This beautiful book is testament to what might have been as well as what might still be. (Jane Charteris LITERARY REVIEW)

Lyrics Alley is the evocative story of an affluent Sudanese family shaken by the shifting powers in their country... As British rule nears its end, the country is torn between modernising influences and past traditions - a conflict reflected in the growing tensions between Mahmoud's two wives. It is a tale of desire, loss, despair and reconciliation. (THE MIDDLE EAST)

Book Description

A lyrical and deeply moving novel by a twice ORANGE-listed rising star, set in pre-Independence Sudan, Egypt and post-war Britain.

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on 4 May 2017
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VINE VOICEon 29 May 2011
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on 2 September 2011
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