The Book of Khartoum

The Book of Khartoum

Author: Raph Cormack and Max Shmookler

Translators: Various

Original language: Arabic

Published by: Comma Press, March 2016

Nestled around the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, the city of Khartoum has for two centuries been a focal point for both imperialism and rebellion, a breeding ground for revolutionary fervour, a point of arrival for countless forced migrations, and a hotbed of literary creativity. The Book of Khartoum provides an intimate tour of this city through the eyes of ten of its best authors. Stylistically these stories also present a melting pot, ranging from the social realism of the post-colonial era, to the fuṣḥá poetics of a new generation of Sudanese writers.

Bushra al-Fadil is a former lecturer, and has published four collections of stories. Isa al-Hilu is one of Sudan’s foremost pioneers of the short story (with six collections to his name). Ali al-Makk came into his own as a writer in the 1950s, a highly regarded short story writer and literary critic. Ahmed al-Malik currently lives in the Netherlands and has published four novels. Bawadir Bashir is part of the new generation of short story writers, as is Mamoun Eltlib, who is a poet and journalist also. Rania Mamoun, from south-east Sudan, has published two novels and short stories. Abdel Aziz Baraka Sakin is a prize-winning author, although much of his work is banned in Sudan. Arthur Gabriel Yak is a young writer who published his first collection of short stories in 2009, and has since gone on to win an AFAC fellowship.