Thursday, May 16, 2019

Top ten books about Sudan

Jamal Mahjoub has been writing for longer than he cares to remember. His novels cover subjects as diverse as Sudan’s history and strife, heliocentricity, and explorations of identity. He has won the Prix de l’astrolabe in France, the NH Mario Vargas LLosa award in Spain, and the Guardian African Short Story prize.

Mahjoub was born in London and spent his formative years in Khartoum, Sudan. Since then he has settled in a number of cities, including London, Aarhus, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. His fiction and nonfiction have been critically acclaimed and widely translated. He has published six crime novels featuring private investigator Makana, using the pen name Parker Bilal.

His A Line in the River: Khartoum, City of Memory is the result of ten years writing and research. It documents the author’s return to the country where he grew up, exploring past and present in the light of Sudan’s dreams of independence, and ending with the 2011 break up of what was the largest country in Africa.

At the Guardian Mahjoub tagged ten top books about Sudan, including:
Bakhita by Veronique Olmi

This novel reimagines the remarkable true story of Josephine Bakhita. Forced into slavery as a child in the late 19th century, Bakhita was later beatified in Rome to become one of Africa’s first Catholic saints. Olmi’s novel, originally written in French, was shortlisted for a number of prizes in France, including the prestigious Goncourt.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue