Leila Laboulela

Amplify Black Voices: Leila Aboulela

Continuing our Amplify Black Voices series, we shine a spotlight on Scottish PEN member and prolific writer, Leila Aboulela

August 6, 2020

Leila Aboulela is a long-standing member of Scottish PEN and the author of five novels: Bird Summons (2019), The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, The Kindness of Enemies, Minaret and Lyrics Alley, Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards.

Leila Aboulela is a Sudanese-born writer whose work, written in English, has received critical acclaim for its distinctive exploration of identity, migration and Islamic spirituality. Highlighting the challenges facing Muslims in Europe and “telling the stories of flawed complex characters who struggle to make choices using Muslim logic”, Aboulela’s work explores significant political issues. Her personal faith and the move, in her mid-twenties, from Sudan to Aberdeen, Scotland are a major influence on her work.

She was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and her latest story collection, Elsewhere, Home won the Saltire Fiction Book of 2018. Leila’s work has been translated into fifteen languages and she was long-listed three times for the Orange Prize.

A recent review of Bird Summons in the Washington Post described Leila’s most recent work as introducing ‘a fantastical golden thread into realism’s tight weave, to magical effect’.

You can learn more about Leila Aboulela’s work at leila-aboulela.com


Leila Aboulela & Alessandro Gallenzi at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Leila Aboulela: Black Lives Matter

Leila Aboulela’s top five picks from the British Council Lahore Library collection


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