Tayeb Salih

Tayeb Salih

Sudanese novelist and prolific writer Tayeb Salih died in London in February 2009 at the age of 80. Salih achieved immediate acclaim when his novel Season of Migration to the North was first published in Arabic in Beirut in 1966. In 2001, the book was declared the most important Arabic novel of the 20th century by the Syrian-based Arabic literary Academy. His works have been translated from Arabic into more than 20 languages. One of the best-known Arabic novelists of the 20th Century, Salih spent much of his working life in Europe. He was a broadcaster for the BBC Arabic Service, weekly columnist for the London-based Arabic-based language newspaper, al-Majalla, and worked at the UN cultural organization UNESCO in Paris. Later, he became the director general of the Ministry of information in Doha, Qatar. His generally political works includes dealing with themes such as colonization and gender. Having studied both western and Arab literature, philosophy, and society, Salih intermingles aspects of both cultures in his works. Salih completed three other novels and a collection of short stories. His novella “The Wedding of Zein” was made into a drama in Libya and a Cannes Festival prize-winning film by the Kuwaiti filmmaker Khalid Siddiqi in the late 1970s.

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