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From one of our finest contemporary writers whose work has been praised by J.M. Coetzee, Ali Smith and Aminatta Forna, Leila Aboulela’s Elsewhere, Home offers us a rich tableau of life as an immigrant abroad.
A young woman’s encounter with a former classmate elicits painful reminders of her former life in Khartoum. A wealthy Sudanese student in Aberdeen begins an unlikely friendship with a Scottish man. A woman experiences an evolving relationship to her favourite writer, whose portrait of their shared culture both reflects and conflicts with her own sense of identity.
Shuttling between the dusty, sun-baked streets of Khartoum and the university halls and cramped apartments of Aberdeen and London, Elsewhere, Home explores, with subtlety and restraint, the profound feelings of yearning, loss and alienation that come with leaving one’s homeland in pursuit of a different life.
About the Author
Leila Aboulela is an award-winning novelist and playwright. Her novels, which were all longlisted for the Orange Prize, include The Translator (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Minaret and Lyrics Alley. Lyrics Alley was also Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards. Translated into fourteen languages, Aboulela’s work has received a high profile for its distinctive exploration of identity, migration and Islamic spirituality. Aboulela grew up in Khartoum, Sudan, and now lives in Aberdeen.
‘A lovely collection of short stories about love, loneliness and spirituality’
Nadiya Hussain, Good Housekeeping
‘A beautiful and desolate collection … quiet brilliance.’
‘Thoughtful, wry, funny … The deceptively quiet tales in Elsewhere, Home are barbed with tension and conflict. There is the desperate homesickness of immigrants; the complications of love between believers and non-believers … [Aboulela’s] interest is with ordinary people, with everyday ambitions and desires.’
‘Elsewhere, Home is a rich and poignant reflection of a Britain built – as ever – from multiple perspectives and starting points. Fragile, curious, human voices blend, lose themselves, redefine themselves. The emigrant and immigrant experiences have always been part of our storytelling; these beautifully focused tales of Khartoum, Edinburgh, London, Cairo and beyond are a delight.’
‘Exquisite fiction. There are gems here, elegantly cut, polished and framed. Luminous.’
‘Leila Aboulela is one of the world’s best short story writers … This selection beautifully conjures the vertigo of homesickness. These are everyday stories observed with unusual sensitivity to the fine grains of hope that live in throwaway gestures.’
Lithub, Most Anticipated Books of 2019
Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year 2018