"Everyone starts at the beginning of the road, and the world is in an endless state of childhood."
--Tayeb Saleh, Season of Migration to the North
Critically acclaimed Sudanese writer, journalist and novelist Tayeb Saleh passed away this week at the age of 80.
Famous for illuminating the intersections between cultures and modernity, Saleh is especially acclaimed (or sometimes disliked) in the Arab world for depicting the contradictions inherent in cultural struggles on both sides of the modern East/West divide, which is a major theme of his work.
Obits & bios on Tayeb Saleh:
Tayeb Saleh's masterpiece was a short novel called Season of Migration to the North (Arabic موسم الهجرة إلى الشمال) published in 1966, an all-time favourite of mine. It is sometimes referred to as an Arabian Nights in reverse, and has been called the best Arabic-language novel of all time.
In 2001, the Arab Literary Academy named Season of Migration to the North the most important Arabic-language novel of the 20th century, and a year later an international literary panel included this novel on a list of the 100 best works of all time.
[Season of Migration to the North on Google Books.]