Publication Date: 05/03/2024 ISBN: 9780863569043 Category:

River Spirit

Leila Aboulela

Publisher: Saqi Books
Publication Date: 05/03/2024 ISBN: 9780863569043 Category:
Paperback / Softback




1880s Sudan. When Akuany and her brother are orphaned in a village raid, they are taken in by Yaseen, a young merchant whose vow to care for them will tether him to Akuany throughout their lives. As revolution brews, Sudan begins to prise itself from its Ottoman rulers, and everyone must choose sides.

Yaseen feels beholden to stand against the self-proclaimed Mahdi, a decision that threatens to splinter his family. Meanwhile, Akuany grows into womanhood and travels alone across the fractured country, sold and traded from house to house, with only Yaseen as her intermittent lifeline. Their struggle will mirror the increasingly bloody struggle for Sudan itself: for freedom, safety and the possibility of love.

River Spirit is a powerful tale of corruption and unshakeable devotion – to a cause, to one’s faith and to the people who become family.

Publisher Review

'A novel of extraordinary sympathy and insight ... a wonderful achievement.' Abdulrazak Gurnah, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 'River Spirit had me gripped from the first page. This is real history, imagined in splendid detail - a story of ordinary people caught in extraordinary times. River Spirit is a triumph of storytelling.' Aminatta Forna 'Aboulela's writing soars. She joins writers like Maaza Mengiste, Namwali Serpell and Ayesha Haruna Atta in excavating history, breathing life into it and presenting it in a new light. It is so far my best read this year.' Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi 'In rich, evocative detail, Aboulela captures one of the most important moments in Sudanese history. You must read this.' Dolen Perkins-Valdez 'Leila Aboulela weaves together strands of Sudan's history in this fascinating and unforgettable tale. Aboulela uses elegant and poetic prose to create a masterpiece. This is a story that demands to be read.' Goretti Kyomuhendo 'Painted with the words of an artist, this novel is a historical portrait of freedom. Aboulela skilfully draws the uncertain colours of what freedom means to different individuals in a Mahdist Sudan to the last full stop.' Zukiswa Wanner Captivating ... Through a compelling chorus of voices ... Aboulela unspools the fraught story of Sudan, as freedom and faith do battle.' * Daily Mail * 'Dazzling ... A love story that endures' * New York Times *

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