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Season of migration to the North by Tayeb…

Season of migration to the North (1966)

by Tayeb Salih

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8703010,219 (3.84)101

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Notes and quotes at: http://biibliophilebeth.blogspot.com/ ( )
  BALE | Sep 12, 2014 |
This novel started out slowly and gradually became mind boggling! The author manages to convey the downside of colonialization and one culture being sdueced by the exotic in anither culture, and then killing off the original beauty of what seduced them in the first place. I was entranced by many of the Arab traditions, emotions, and euphemisms. I was absolutely delighted during the impromptu celebration of travelers and bedouins in the desert. I was appalled at the treatment of women as property. Overall, I was thoroughly engaged emotionally and intellectually. Excellent! ( )
  hemlokgang | Jul 12, 2014 |
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.


So, all I will say is that if it takes me MONTHS to get through a 169 page book....well, then there's something wrong. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.


So, all I will say is that if it takes me MONTHS to get through a 169 page book....well, then there's something wrong. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This little novel packs a huge punch even today, 50 years after it was published in a Sudan that was in no way ready hammer blow of this magnitude to its conservative Islamic values. Currently regarded as one of the finest novels Arabic, it still continues to be banned in many Islamic nations, including the one I brought it to after being given it for Christmas.

Many of the reviews on Goodreads which give low ratings to the novel have two things in common: they are written in Arabic and they are outraged by the sexual references. Listen oh ye governments of nations where this is banned: This is no American Psycho; references to sex there are, but this is far less graphic than the sex that the vast majority of your citizens view with impunity from their VPNs each day as they get around your puny Internet filtering.

The narrator never discloses his name. He returns to his native Sudanese village after several years abroad gaining a PhD and finds that there is a resident who was not there when he left.
The enigmatic Mustafa Sa’eed has married a local woman and fathered two sons. The narrator cannot figure him out and finds him a threat although this seems unwarranted. But they have much in common. The novel consists mostly of the two men sharing memories of times in Europe that they have both experienced. Mustafa’s experience consists mostly in seducing any woman he can find.

Identities are not at all clear in this book. This led me to wonder whether the narrator was actually Mustafa Sa’eed. The two characters share so much in common that, as long as you don’t maintain that the novel’s timeline of events is linear (and one should never do this with any African-inspired writing) this is entirely possible. In fact, the novel makes more sense to me if this is the case. And then, to me, Salih was ever so subtly satirising the hypocrisy of Sudan. At once in bed with western nations as it fought to bring itself out of the shadow of colonialism, it also tried to maintain a stern and disapproving facade underpinned by tradition and Islamic morality.

The novel is very loosely structured, particularly at the end, and this allows for multiple interpretations of events, characters and the narrative as a whole. It’s a very deep book that succeeds on a number of important levels, and it is a great example of the power of the novel as an art form. ( )
  arukiyomi | Jun 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tayeb Salihprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson-Davies, DenysTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lailami, LailaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0435900668, Paperback)

A beautifully constructed novel set in the Sudan.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"When a young man returns to his village in the Sudan after many years studying in Europe, he finds that among the familiar faces there is now a stranger - the enigmatic Mustafa Sa'eed. As the two become friends, Mustafa tells the younger man the disturbing story of his own life in London after the First World War. Lionized by society and desired by women as an exotic novelty, Mustafa was driven to take brutal revenge on the decadent West and was, in turn, destroyed by it. Now the terrible legacy of his actions has come to haunt the small village at the bend of the Nile."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 1590173023, 1590173422

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