The Translator

Front Cover
Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, Dec 1, 2007 - Fiction - 208 pages
A New York Times Notable Book: “Aboulela’s lovely, brief story encompasses worlds of melancholy and gulfs between cultures” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
 
American readers were introduced to the award-winning Sudanese author Leila Aboulela with Minaret, a delicate tale of a privileged young African Muslim woman adjusting to her new life as a maid in London. Now, for the first time in North America, we step back to her extraordinarily assured debut about a widowed Muslim mother living in Aberdeen who falls in love with a Scottish secular academic.
 
Sammar is a Sudanese widow working as an Arabic translator at a Scottish university. Since the sudden death of her husband, her young son has gone to live with family in Khartoum, leaving Sammar alone in cold, gray Aberdeen, grieving and isolated. But when she begins to translate for Rae, a Scottish Islamic scholar, the two develop a deep friendship that awakens in Sammar all the longing for life she has repressed. As Rae and Sammar fall in love, she knows they will have to address his lack of faith in all that Sammar holds sacred. An exquisitely crafted meditation on love, both human and divine, The Translator is ultimately the story of one woman’s courage to stay true to her beliefs, herself, and her newfound love.
 
“A story of love and faith all the more moving for the restraint with which it is written.” —J. M. Coetzee
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jayne_charles - LibraryThing

A lot of the reviews on the cover of this book refer to the “restraint” with which it is written, and I would have to say that restraint was the main impression it left me with. It was like watching ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KWharton - LibraryThing

I liked the understated writing style, but I felt a bit disappointed with the end. I will see what I think in a month or two. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

CHAPTER 1
3
CHAPTER 2
11
CHAPTER 3
23
CHAPTER 4
31
CHAPTER 5
43
CHAPTER 6
53
CHAPTER 7
65
CHAPTER 8
71
CHAPTER 14
119
CHAPTER 15
131
PART 2
133
CHAPTER 16
135
CHAPTER 17
145
CHAPTER 18
155
CHAPTER 19
163
CHAPTER 20
177

CHAPTER 9
79
CHAPTER 10
91
CHAPTER 11
97
CHAPTER 12
99
CHAPTER 13
111
CHAPTER 21
183
CHAPTER 22
189
CHAPTER 23
193
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 and grew up in Khartoum, Sudan. She is the author of Minaret and Coloured Lights, and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. The Translator is her first novel and was nominated for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Saltire Prize. Her work has been translated into six languages.

Bibliographic information