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Leila Aboulela

Sudan (1964 - )

Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 and grew up in Khartoum, learning English at an American primary school and later at The Sisters' School, a private Catholic school. She took a degree in Economics at the University of Khartoum and then travelled to Britain to study for an M.Sc. in Statistics at the London School of Economics. In 1990 she moved to Scotland with her husband and their three children. She started writing in 1992 while lecturing in Statistics and working as a part-time Research Assistant. Her first stories were broadcast on BBC Radio and an anthology Coloured Lights was published by Polygon in 2001. The Translator was first published to critical acclaim in 1999. It was long-listed for the Orange Prize 2000 and also long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards 2001. Leila Aboulela won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2000 for 'The Museum', published in Heinemann's short-story collection, Opening Spaces.

Genres: Science Fiction
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2006) : Minaret
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2011) : Lyrics Alley

Leila Aboulela recommends

Poor Mercy (2005)
Jonathan Falla
"A startling account of the lives of aid workers in Darfur - sophisticated, timely and often entertaining."

My Name Is Salma (2007)
Fadia Faqir
"Exquisitely woven."

Swallow (2010)
Sefi Atta
"Tender, fierce, vivid and memorable -- a bold, distinctive novel from a writer who doesn't compromise her integrity"

The Bamboo Stalk (2015)
Saud Alsanousi
"Bold, heartfelt...A narrative with power and resonance."

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