by Raph Cormack & Max Shmookler (Editors) - £9.99 Comma Press (2016)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781905583720 | ISBN 10: 1905583729
Featuring Bushra al-Fadil, Isa al-Hilu, Abdel Aziz Baraka Sakin, Arthur Gabriel Yak, Hammour Ziada, Ahmed al-Malik, Bawadir Bashir, Mamoun Eltlib, Rania Mamoun & Ali al-Makk
Translated by Thoraya El-Rayyes, Raph Cormack, Mohammed Ghalayeini, Sarah Irving, Elisabeth Jaquette, Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Andrew Leber, Max Shmookler.
Khartoum, according to one theory, takes its name from the Beja word hartooma, meaning ‘meeting place’. Geographically, culturally and historically, the Sudanese capital is certainly that: a meeting place of the Blue and White Niles, a confluence of Arabic and African histories, and a destination point for countless refugees displaced by Sudan’s long, troubled history of forced migration.
In the pages of this book – the first major anthology of Sudanese stories to be translated into English – the city also stands as a meeting place for ideas: where the promise and glamour of the big city meets its tough social realities; where traces of a colonial past are still visible in day-to-day life; where the dreams of a young boy, playing in his father’s shop, act out a future that may one day be his. Diverse literary styles also come together here: the political satire of Ahmed al-Malik; the surrealist poetics of Bushra al-Fadil; the social realism of the first postcolonial authors; and the lyrical abstraction of the new ‘Iksir’ generation. As with any great city, it is from these complex tensions that the best stories begin.
(Price & availability last checked: May 2016)