Top 10 books about Sudan

Despite 30 years of repression that have hit writers unusually hard, Sudanese literature remains vigorous. Here is some of the best available in English

I was lucky to grow up in Khartoum in a house filled with books, at a time when Sudan’s public libraries flourished. One of the most startling discoveries I made as a child of about 13 was finding a couple of Tayeb Salih’s books on a shelf at home. Until that moment, I thought literature was something that took place elsewhere – in Dickens’s England or the Latin America of Borges, say. But here were stories that described the world right outside our front door. It was a moment of revelation and stirred the idea that it was possible to write.

Related: A Line in the River by Jamal Mahjoub review – Khartoum, city of memory

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