For July we’re reading موسم الهجرة إلى الشمال، الطيب صالح / Season of Migration to the North by Sudanese author Tayyib Saleh, which is #24 on the Arab Writers Union’s list of the best 105 Arabic novels of the 20th century. It was translated by Denys Johnson-Davis.
A brief summary of the book from The New York Review Books:
“After many 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, 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 in the early part of the twentieth century, 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.”
For further reading, take a look at Read Kutub‘s discussion.
We’ll meet to discuss on Monday, July 19th 2010.