Leila Aboulela


Sudanese writer and playwright. In her third and the latest novel, Lyrics Alley (2010), Leila Aboulela encompasses themes of polygamy, female circumcision. Her second novel Minaret (2005) featured a woman culturally adrift in London and reconnecting with her Islamic faith after fleeing Sudan following civil war in the 1980s. Her debut, The Translator (1999), featured a Sudanese widow working as an Arabic translator in Scotland in the 1990s, grieving both the loss of her husband and her homeland. Perhaps Aboulela's own state of mind after she relocated to Aberdeen from Khartoum in the late 1980s with her family. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Aboulela grew up in Khartoum, Sudan, where she attended her schooling. She graduated from Khartoum University in 1985 with a degree in Economics and was awarded an MSc and an MPhil degree in Statistics from the London School of Economics. Aboulela also lived for many years in Aberdeen, where she started to write while looking after her family. She currently (2010) lives in Doha.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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