Magazine article New Internationalist

[Aboulela, Leila. Coloured Lights]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Aboulela, Leila. Coloured Lights]

Article excerpt

Coloured Lights

by Leila Aboulela

(Polygon Press, ISBN 0 7486 6298 7)

Leila Aboulela's debut novel The Translator attracted much critical attention and was shortlisted for several distinguished prizes. Aboulela, who grew up in Sudan and moved to Britain when she was in her thirties, writes in English and has already developed an original and distinctive voice. The stories in her new collection Coloured Lights are full of faltering connections and cultural misunderstandings. In the title story, a Sudanese woman in London on a temporary contract struggles to cope with her grief over her dead brother and her separation from her family and country. She says: 'In Arabic my state would have been described as "yearning for the homeland"... I was alienated from this place where darkness descended unnaturally at 4pm and people went about their business as if nothing had happened. …

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