This is a touching story about love, both human and divine. Leila Aboulela’s debut Polygon novel is a captivating read.
Sammar is a young Sudanese widow, working as an Arabic translator at a British university. Following the sudden death of her husband, and estranged from her young son, she drifts, grieving and isolated. Life takes a positive turn when she finds herself falling in love with Rae, a Scottish academic. To Sammar, he seems to come from another world and another culture, yet they are drawn to each other.
The Translator is a story about love, both human and divine. Leila Aboulela’s first novel, first published in 1999, was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and was shortlisted for the Saltire Prize. It has subsequently appeared in editions worldwide.
Leila Aboulela was born in 1964, grew up in Khartoum and moved to the UK in her twenties to study at the London School of Economics. In 1992, while living in Aberdeen with two young children and a husband working offshore, Leila found comfort through writing about her home city. She attended creative-writing workshops which helped to broaden her reading and introduced her to Scottish writers. Her last novel Minaret, published by Bloomsbury, was short-listed for the Orange Prize. Leila Aboulela now lives in Abu Dhabi and is currently working on her third novel.