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Leila Aboulela: Writing Women, Writing Islam

This is a book-length biography of Sudanese writer Leila Aboulela (b. 1964) and situates her life and writing within three broad contexts. First, it centers Aboulela’s experiences as a migrant Muslim woman who moved to Scotland from Sudan, an experience and journey that has been the driving force behind her fiction. Second, the book locates her oeuvre within the contemporary Anglophone African corpus of writing about migration and identity. Last, it analyzes her place within the larger canon of Sudanese literature and takes into consideration her formative role in
shaping contemporary African literature. Aboulela emerged as a unique literary voice in the aftermath of 9/11, as the ensuing global “War on Terror” led to the violent targeting of much of the Muslim world in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Aboulela’s novels, short stories and radio plays explore themes, styles and geographies that are anchored in a sensitive and complex exploration of Muslim women who are attempting to gain autonomy as migrants in an Islamophobic, Western world. The book explores the author’s childhood and upbringing, her trajectory as a writer, and delves into themes of loss, empowerment, spirituality, disability as well as her engagement with Sudanese history.


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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].