Season of Migration to the North

Season of Migration to the North

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
4
1
1
 …
Random House, Inc.
After years of study in Europe, the young narrator of Season of Migration to the North returns 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 childhood—the 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 man—whom he has asked to look after his wife—in 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 North is 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.

Publisher: New York : Review Books, 2009
ISBN: 9781590173022
1590173023
Branch Call Number: FICTION SALIH...T
Characteristics: xx, 139 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Johnson-Davies, Denys

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

y
YellowKarr
Aug 31, 2018

“Though floating on the water, I was not apart of it.

Was I asleep or awake? Was I alive or dead?

Turning to left and right, I found I was half-way between north and south.”

There is a quote from the Koran saying that a man sounds ridiculous if he tries to live life in another language that is not his own. However reality is much different than formal Arabic text because Sudanese peoples have been navigating multiple language worlds: their own close environment dialects, standard Arabic, and British English. When history and necessity forces you to acclimate to your political surroundings, you can indeed feel that your efforts to live a human and humane life become befuddled and truly ridiculous. Who do you truly feel you are? And do others not willing to listen to your human emotion see you or see only a politically constructed illusion?

Asserting yourself in your daily efforts and actions of emotional expression can be easily misconstrued if you do not play the role of the illusion.

‘It was not my concern whether or not life has meaning. If I am unable to forgive, then I shall try to forget. I shall live by force and cunning. I moved my feet and arms, violently and with difficulty, until the upper part of my body was above water. Like a comic actor shouting on a stage, I screamed with all my remaining strength, “ Help! Help!” ‘

l
lukasevansherman
Apr 23, 2018

"The white man, merely because he has ruled us for a period of our history, will for along time continue to have for us that feeling of contempt that the strong have for the weak."
This if the first Sudanese novel I have ever read or even heard. Part of New York Review Books classics series, which often publishes unjustly neglected works, "Seaon" was published in 1969 and by many accounts, is the greatest Arab novel of the 20th century. Give the current political climate, we should all be reading outside of our culture. I'm not sure I agree with the previous description of the books as "misogynistic." One of the characters could be described that way, but I think Salih is using him to critique certain aspects of the East/West, colonizer/colonized relationship.

r
rika_hubby
Jul 06, 2015

The content is switching back and forth between Mustafa and the narrator; however, it gets clearer image if we read the introduction beforehand before we jump into the chapter.

m
mclarjh
Jun 20, 2014

Misogynistic.

Age

Add Age Suitability

r
rika_hubby
Jul 06, 2015

rika_hubby thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Summary

Add a Summary

r
rika_hubby
Jul 06, 2015

After years of study in Europe, the young narrator returns 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 childhood -- the 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. However, he disappears without a trace, leaving his two sons under the care of the narrator.

Quotes

Add a Quote

r
rika_hubby
Jul 06, 2015

"When I embrace my grandfather I experience a sense of richness as though I am a note in the heartbeats of the very universe." - p:61

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top