About the Book
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 whose work has received critical recognition for its distinctive exploration of identity, migration and Islamic spirituality. Her novels have been translated into fifteen languages and include Bird Summons, Minaret, The Translator (a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year), The Kindness of Enemies and Lyrics Alley (Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards). Aboulela was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and her short story collection, Elsewhere, Home won the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award. Her plays The Insider and The Mystic Life have been broadcast on BBC Radio, and her fiction has been published in Freeman’s, Granta and Harper’s Magazine, amongst others. Aboulela grew up in Sudan and moved to Scotland in her mid-twenties, where she now resides.
‘A lovely collection of short stories about love, loneliness and spirituality’ Nadiya Hussain, Good Housekeeping
‘A beautiful and desolate collection … quiet brilliance.’ The Observer
‘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.’ The Herald
‘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.’ A.L. Kennedy
‘Brief, brilliant moments in time … Leila Aboulela tells her short, perfect tales in patient, perfect brush-strokes.’ Maggie Gee, Transnational Journal
‘Exquisite fiction. There are gems here, elegantly cut, polished and framed. Luminous.’ Fadia Faqir
‘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 (Winner)
Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2019 (Longlisted)
The People's Book Prize 2018 (Longlisted)