Publication Date: 07/03/2023 ISBN: 9780863569173 Category:

River Spirit

Leila Aboulela

Publisher: Saqi Books
Publication Date: 07/03/2023 ISBN: 9780863569173 Category:


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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

'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, 'Aboulela is the kind of writer from whom British people need to hear.' The Telegraph,'This is the modern female voice ... fresh, diverse, challenging and uninhibited.' Rachel Cusk, 'Aboulela's writing is always beautifully observed, her voice one of restrained lyricism: she is a writer of rare and original talent.' Duncan McLean

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