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Season of Migration to the North (1966)

by Tayeb Salih

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,6594710,555 (3.84)190
After years of study in Europe, the young narrator returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood--the enigmatic Mustafa Sa'eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land.… (more)
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English (45)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
This was a book that left me swirling with many thoughts, and it took me a while to process how I felt about it. The writing was rich and transporting, but it was also not a "fun hang" in that it did not seem, as a book, very kind to women. Of course, the world wasn't and isn't very kind to women much of the time (whether in high society Europe or rural North Africa), so perhaps that is only one way in which the book is honest, but it still makes me weary to read it one more time.

The book is Serious and has Important Themes and the writing is so lovely in places, but also I am just tired. ( )
  greeniezona | May 7, 2023 |


Dust rose up behind us, and I watched the bedouin running towards some tattered tents by some bushes southwards of us, where there were diminutive sheep and naked children. Where, O God, is the shade? Such land brings forth nothing but prophets. This drought can be cured only by the sky.

After studying in Europe and having taken a civil servant job in Khartoum, a man returns to his home village on a bend in the Nile only a few times a year. On one visit, he is astonished to meet another English-speaking man and is unsure of what to make of a Western-educated man living in a farming village where traditions remain unchanging and education is rare. Mustafa later shares his story, a remarkable one, with the narrator.

This was a remarkable book. Originally published in 1966, it holds many insights about the effects of colonialism that remain relevant today. The narrator allows the customs and traditions of his birthplace commit an injustice, with repercussions that shock everyone. There's a lot going on in this slim novel set in an obscure corner of Sudan and I'm glad to have read it.

The war ended in victory for us all: the stones, the trees, the animals, the iron, while I, lying under this beautiful, compassionate sky, feel that we are all brothers; he who drinks and he who prays and he who steals and he who commits adultery and he who fights and he who kills. The source is the same. No one knows what goes on in the mind of the Divine. Perhaps he doesn't care. Perhaps he is not angry. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Apr 24, 2023 |
Even though it’s a short book, I put it down and couldn’t finish it
Beautiful writing, but I lost the story and gave up ( )
  MarshaKT | Dec 22, 2022 |
يراودني شعور أنني أحتاج لقراءة هذه الرواية مرة أخرى لأكتشف خباياها ومستوياتها الإيحائية والرمزية التي تتجاوز الحكاية كما هي على السطح
راوي القصة شاب سوداني عائد بعد دراسته في الخارج ويتعرف إلى مصطفى الرجل الذي كان شخصية بارزة في المهجر قبل أن تلحق به خطاياه وتودعه السجن ثم يعود كالمنفي إلى وطنه ويعيش حياته كسوداني على السطح منكراً السنوات التي عاشها في بريطانيا وإن عاش سراً في ذكرياتها لوحده

الراوي نفسه يعاني من شيئ من الغربة وتصبح رحلته في اكتشاف ماضي مصطفى، مرادفاً لرحلته وتساؤلاته الذاتية.

ولأن كل إنسان يقرأ قصة ما تخاطب فيه مخاوفه أو طموحاته فهذه القصة أثارت في مجدداً غضبي القديم من صورة الرجل العربي المعتز برجولته والذي يرى نفسه غازياً وفاتحاً وأن هذه الطبيعة لا تتغير فيه مهما ابتعد عن جذوره في هذا المجتمع الذكري.
الاستثناءات موجودة بطبيعة الحال ولكن تقابل شخصية ولد الريس السوداني الشيخ المزواج مع مصطفى زير النساء الذي يرى في نفسه محرراً لأفريقيا حين يستردج النساء العجميات إلى فراشه هو عنصر مقصود في حبكة الرواية
مصطفى وجد رادعاً مجتمعياً في النهاية بينما يتستر المجتمع العربي الذكري على خطايا رجل مثل ولد الريس ويلوم الأنثى.

العلم والهجرة قد تحرر العقل ولكن من يحرر ويعتق روح الأفريقي من شهوته المطبوعة بالحقد تجاه كل ما هو غربي - مصطفى هرب نحو وطنه وإلى داخل ذاته وراوي القصة ما يزال يكافح التيار. خاتمة الرواية بديعة وتلخص هذا الصراع. ( )
  moukayedr | Sep 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salih, Tayebprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bishop, Claire HuchetTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cihangir, AdnanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dundy, ElaineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson-Davies, DenysTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahle, SigridAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karachouli, ReginaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lalami, LailaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leggio, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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After years of study in Europe, the young narrator returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood--the enigmatic Mustafa Sa'eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land.

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