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After years of study in Europe, the young narrator ofSeason of Migration to the Northreturns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhoodthe enigmatic Mustafa Sa'eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land. But what is the meaning of Mustafa's shocking confession? Mustafa disappears without explanation, leaving the young manwhom he has asked to look after his wifein an unsettled and violent no-man's-land between Europe and Africa, tradition and innovation, holiness and defilement, and man and woman, from which no one will escape unaltered or unharmed. Season of Migration to the Northis a rich and sensual work of deep honesty and incandescent lyricism. In 2001 it was selected by a panel of Arab writers and critics as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century.
Tayeb Salih was born in northern Sudan in 1929 and educated at the University of Khartoum. After a brief period working as a teacher, he moved to London to work with the BBC Arabic Service. Salih later worked as director general of information in Qatar in the Arabian Gulf, and then with UNESCO in Paris and the Arab Gulf States. In 2001 Season of Migration to the North was selected by a panel of Arab writers and critics as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century.
Denys Johnson-Davies has published more than twenty-five volumes of stories, novels, plays, and poetry translated from modern Arabic literature. He lives in Cairo, Egypt.