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Season of Migration: Classic Edition (African Writers Series) [Paperback]

Tayeb Salih
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Classic - A Dream Aug. 31 2002
By A Customer
"Season of Migration to the North" is simply an undiscovered gem among literary works. The work presents a story of a mysterious character who after being educated in Sudan follows his quest for knowledge to the "cold north" of London.
Seemingly a simple story develops into a complex character study weaved in with issues of colonialism in African countries, the effect of economics on the distrubution of wealth in the world, the meaning of economics as an academic discipline, and most importantly a quest for a personal and cultural identity - the paradox of diaspora.
The work is beautifully translated, as the reader will notice thus contributing to its lyrical and precise execution in which every word counts. The format in which the work is presented might confuse a few people but is highly relevant to the character and plot development.
For those familiar with Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" this will prove to be a worthwhile read which takes the concepts adressed in Ellison's work to a next level.
Also recommended is a film "The Wedding in Galilee" for further deconstruction and interpretation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
He had spent seven years studying in Europe. He returned to Sudan, his small village at the bend on the Nile. His grandfather was knowledgeable about the geneology of everyone in the village. A new man was present in the village, Mustafa, who had been there for about five years. He came from the outskirts of Khartoum.
Mustafa was a posthumous child. He and his mother were each other's only relatives. From childhood Mustafa felt that he was different from others. Mustafa agreed to go to school just when they were first being started by the colonizers for village youth. He had a wonderful ability to memorize his lessons. His teachers admired him as a prodigy, but he paid them no mind. After three years he had exhausted the country's academic resources. He was advised to study abroad. It was arranged that he depart for Cairo to attend secondary school. In Cairo he stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. He paid no attention to the love they showered on him. He learned music and literature in Cairo, but enjoyed nothing.
Later he went to England where he killed Jean Morris. Possibly he ws the cause of Ann Hammond's suicide and the deaths of others. He was appointed a lecturer in economics at London University at age twenty four. Mustafa died, the but narrator, in his work at the minstry of education, keeps running into him since he had been a most brilliant and notorious student. The narrator, Effendi, is guardian of Mustafa Sa-eed's wife and children. Mustafa was the first student from Sudan to study in Cairo and England. (He dies from drowning at some point between the narrator's visits to the village and to his grandfather.) Unfortunately his wife kills a geriatric suitor and then kills herself. She had threatened violence if forced into a situation against her will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary masterwork from Sudan March 28 2000
By A Customer
Tayeb Salih's great novel is a compelling satirical rewrite of Joseph Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS. In Salih's version, instead of a European intellectual travelling to Africa to be corrupted by his contact with "primitive savagery," the protagonist starts out as an idealistic young man from Sudan who travels northward to Europe, where he is undone by corruption, decadence, and the mutual destructiveness of unhappy love affairs. The novel is cleverly written and well translated, with terrific insights into the relationships of southern and northern hemispheres; the colonized to their colonizers; Arabs and Europeans; and men and women. I've read a lot of Arab novels (and many more African ones); A SEASON OF MIGRATION TO THE NORTH is the best I've read to date.
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