Lyrics Alley

Lyrics Alley US Cover

Lyrics Alley UK Cover

Buy from
Buy from
Buy from Barnes & Noble
Buy from
Buy from

Lyrics Alley is the story of an affluent, influential Sudanese family shaken by the shifting powers in their country and the near tragedy that threatens the legacy they’ve built for decades.

In 1950s Sudan, the powerful and sprawling Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune with their trading firm, one of the only indigenous companies in a business dominated by their British occupiers. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, they can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud’s son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to his business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, his hopes of university and marriage to his beloved cousin, Soraya, are dashed.

As Sudan’s diverging ethnic and religious populations collide and British rule nears its end, the country is torn between modernizing influences and the call of traditions past—a divide reflected in the growing tensions between Mahmoud’s two wives: the younger, Nabilah, longs to return to Egypt and escape the dust of “backward-looking” Sudan; while Waheeba is confined to her open-air kitchen and resents Nabilah’s influence on her family. It is not until Nur begins to assert himself outside the strict cultural limits of his parents that both his own spirit and the frayed bonds of his family can begin to mend.

In Lyrics Alley, Leila Aboulela takes readers to the heart of what it means to have faith in an unforgiving world. Moving from the alleys of Sudan to cosmopolitan Cairo and a decimated post-colonial Britain, this sweeping tale of desire and loss, faith, despair, and reconciliationis one of the most accomplished and evocative portraits ever written of Sudanese society at the time of independence.


March 3rd- 5th The Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature, Dubai

February 23rd, ”Through the Eyes of Others: Developing Empathy by Reading Fiction”, American University Cairo

February 21, “Fiction As Translation” A talk for the Center for Translation Studies, American University Cairo.

October 6th Ilkley Literature Festival In Conversation with Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall from Leeds Beckett University

Continue reading


*****Review of The Kindness of Enemies in The Independent
*****Allan Massie reviews The Kindness of Enemies in The Scotsman
*****Anthony Mara reviews The Kindness of Enemies in The San Francisco Chronicle.
*****Ron Charles reviews The Kindness of Enemies in the The Washington Post.
Continue reading

Leila Aboulela Copyright 2018
Website development by Pedalo