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Leila Aboulela


Sudan (b.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.
 

Awards: Saltire (2018), Caine (2000)  see all

Genres: Literary Fiction, Historical, General Fiction
 
Novels
   The Translator (1999)
   Minaret (2005)
   Lyrics Alley (2010)
   The Kindness of Enemies (2015)
   Bird Summons (2019)
   River Spirit (2023)
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Collections
   Coloured Lights (2001)
   Scottish Girls About Town (2003) (with others)
   Elsewhere, Home (2018)
   The Poet and the Echo (2023) (with others)
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Novellas and Short Stories
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Leila Aboulela recommends
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Every Rising Sun (2023)
Jamila Ahmed
"A sumptuous, moreish novel infused with the joys of storytelling. A bold, heady journey into the riches and passions of Crusader history, presenting a fresh and fascinating Muslim perspective."
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Enter Ghost (2023)
Isabella Hammad
"Outstanding. Next-level. Aesthetically, intellectually, emotionally and culturally satisfying. It is astonishing but true that Isabella Hammad is incapable of striking a false note. She immerses her heroine in volatile territory with the accuracy, compassion and coolness of a surgical knife sliding into a diseased body. The result is a stunning beauty - an eye-opening, uplifting novel that grants its vulnerable cast and their endeavors a rare and graceful dignity."
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Things They Lost (2022)
Okwiri Oduor
"A wondrous newborn - mewling, dewy, twinkling, gurgling a tale steeped in the acrid surrealism of childhood, populated by wicked wraiths and held together by the vicious spell mothers can cast on their daughters."

More recommendations 


Books containing stories by Leila Aboulela
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Best of British Fantasy 2019 (2020)
(Best of British Fantasy)
edited by
Jared Shurin
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I Am Heathcliff (2018)
Stories Inspired by Wuthering Heights
edited by
Kate Mosse

Awards
2018 Saltire Literary Award : Elsewhere, Home
2000 Caine Prize for African Writing : The Museum

Award nominations
2024 Jhalak Prize (nominee) : River Spirit
2023 HWA Gold Crown Award (shortlist) : River Spirit


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