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Season of Migration to the North

Written by Tayeb Salih

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics Series

Season of Migration to the North Synopsis

The story of a man undone by a culture that in part created him, Season of Migration to the North, is a powerful and evocative examination of colonization in two vastly different worlds. When a young man returns to his village in the Sudan after many years studying in Europe, he finds that among the familiar faces there is now a stranger - the enigmatic Mustafa Sa'eed. As the two become friends, Mustafa tells the younger man the disturbing story of his own life in London after the First World War. Lionized by society and desired by women as an exotic novelty, Mustafa was driven to take brutal revenge on the decadent West and was, in turn, destroyed by it. Now the terrible legacy of his actions has come to haunt the small village at the bend of the Nile.

Season of Migration to the North Press Reviews

Denys Johnson-Davies...the leading Arabic-English translator of our time -- Edward Said The prose, translated from Arabic, has a grave beauty. It's the story of a man who returns to his native Sudan after being educated in England, then encounters the first Sudanese to get an English education. The near-formal elegance in the writing contrasts with the sly anti-colonial world view of the book, and this makes it even more interesting -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie An Arabian Nights in reverse, enclosing a pithy moral about international misconceptions and delusions...Powerfully and poetically written and splendidly translated by Denys Johnson-Davies * Observer * This is the one novel that everyone insisted I took with me. Set in a Sudanese village by the Nile, it is a brilliant exploration of African encounters with the West, and the corrupting power of colonialism. I never got this book out to read without someone coming up to tell me how brilliant it was -- Mary Beard Salih packed an entire library into this slim masterpiece ... It is alive with drama and incident: crimes of passion, sadomasochism, suicide. It is a novel of ideas wrapped in the veils of romance * Harper's Magazine * This depthless, elusive classic explores not just the corrosive psychological colonisation observed by Frantz Fanon, but a more complex two-way orientalism, in which the charms of western thought, embodied in its poetry and liberal ideals, prove irresistible, even as the novel's Sudanese narrators understand these as the tempting fruit of a poisoned tree * Guardian * Without a doubt it is one of the finest Arabic novels of the 20th century, and Denys Johnson-Davies' translation does the original justice -- Hisham Matar

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141187204
Publication date: 30th October 2003
Author: Tayeb Salih
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 192 pages

About Tayeb Salih

Tayeb Salih was born in Northern Sudan in 1929 and educated at the University of Khartoum. After a brief period working as a teacher, he moved to London to work with the BBC Arabic Service. Salih later worked as Director-General of Information in Qatar in the Arabian Gulf; with Unesco in Paris and an Unesco's representative in the Arab Gulf States. Tayeb Salih is widely acknowledged as one of the most important Arab writers of the 20th century, he died in 2009.

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