Magazine article New Internationalist

A Line in the River

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Line in the River

Article excerpt

A Line in the River by Jamal Mahjoub (Bloomsbury, ISBN 9781408885468)

Novelist Jamal Mahjoub's parents fled Sudan in 1989, following the coup that brought Omar al-Bashir to power. Living in exile, first in Egypt and then in England, Mahjoub's father vowed never to return while the hardline Islamist regime retained power and indeed he did not, dying and being buried in London. For the younger Mahjoub, Khartoum, the city in which he spent his childhood, retained an enduring fascination, informing his writing and finally drawing him back to excavate his memories and attempt to understand Sudan's troubled history and uncertain future.

Following independence from Britain in 1956, Sudan followed a depressingly familiar pattern of civil war, coup and crisis, including the famine in Darfur province that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and drove millions into Khartoum shanty towns. …

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