Quick access:

Go directly to content (Alt 1) Go directly to first-level navigation (Alt 2)

Virtually Yours #25 Leila Aboulela

A series of online discussions - Virtual Gatherings - with the award-winning author Zukiswa Wanner exploring contemporary African Literature with authors

Photo Leila Aboulela © Leila Aboulela About the Author:
Leila Aboulela is the inaugural winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Her sixth novel, River Spirit, was published in March 2023 and described by the New York Times as 'dazzling... a novel about war, love, faith, womanhood and, above all, the struggle for truth and public narratives'. Leila's previous novels include Bird Summons, The Kindness of Enemies, The Translator, Minaret and Lyrics Alley, winner of the Scottish Book Awards for Fiction. Her collection of short stories, Elsewhere, Home, won the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year. Leila's work has been translated into fifteen languages and she has been shortlisted three times for the Orange Prize (now the Women's Prize for Fiction). She grew up in Khartoum and moved to Scotland in her mid-twenties, where she now lives. Leila is an Honorary Professor at the WORD Centre, University of Aberdeen, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

More about the Author see :

Cover: RIver Spirit © unkown About the book:
1890s Sudan. When Akuany and her brother are orphaned in a village raid, they are taken in by a young merchant, Yaseen, who promises to care for them – a vow that tethers him to Akuany throughout their adulthood. As revolution begins to brew, led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Sudan begins to prise itself from Ottoman rule, and everyone must choose a side.
Yaseen feels beholden to stand against this false Mahdi, a decision that threatens to splinter his family. Meanwhile, Akuany is moved across the country alone, sold and traded from house to house, with only Yaseen as her intermittent lifeline. Their struggle mirrors the increasingly bloody struggle for Sudan itself: for freedom, safety and the possibility of love.
River Spirit is the unforgettable story of a people who, against the odds and for a brief time, gained independence from foreign rule through their willpower, subterfuge and sacrifice.