The translator /
Leila Aboulela.
Edinburgh : Polygon, c1999.
184 p. ; 22 cm.
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Edinburgh : Polygon, c1999.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2006-07-01:
Sammar is a devout Muslim widow from Sudan who works as an Arabic translator at a university in Aberdeen, Scotland. Scotsman Rae Isles is an agnostic scholar of Middle East studies. In working closely together on Rae's academic projects, the two develop a strong friendship with romantic potential-until religious and philosophical differences get in the way. When an opportunity arises for Sammar to return to her hometown of Khartoum to visit her family and young son, she goes there and decides to stay, until a letter arrives from Scotland that may change everything. Sammar and Rae personify, respectfully and realistically, the cultural struggles playing out in today's world. Sammar's experience as a professional immigrant woman in search of peace but still caught between two differing worlds should resonate with many readers internationally. Aboulela (Minaret) deftly handles the contrasting settings of Aberdeen and Khartoum and presents a rare and timely perspective. Her writing is restrained and evocative, subtle and graceful. First published in 1999 in Britain, this work is highly recommended for large fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/06.]-Jenn B. Stidham, Houston Community Coll. Northeast Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2006-06-05:
Sammar, a young Sudanese widow, is working as a translator in a Scottish university when love blossoms between herself and her Scottish supervisor, Rae Isles, a scholar of the Middle East and of Third World politics. A religious Muslim who covers her hair, Sammar has left her young son in Khartoum to be raised by her aunt and quells her loneliness by throwing herself into her job translating terrorist documents for kindly divorc? Rae. The two signal their growing love for one another with sympathy (and chastity). On the eve of her trip to Khartoum to see her son and bring him back with her, she confronts Rae, desperate to know if he will accept Islam-since a relationship to her is impossible without marriage, and that marriage is impossible without his conversion. His hesitation reveals the cultural gulf between them, and Sammar is pierced to the quick. Though The Translator is Aboulela's second novel to be released in the U.S., it is the Sudanese-British author's first, published in the U.K. in 1999. (Her third, Minaret, appeared here last year.) With authentic detail and insight into both cultures, Aboulela painstakingly constructs a truly transformative denouement. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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San Francisco Chronicle, October 2006
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Bowker Data Service Summary
Sammar is a young Sudanese widow who works as an Arabic translator in Aberdeen, grieving for her lost husband. Things change when she falls in love with Rae, a Scottish academic. The Translator focuses on cultural and traditional differences.
Unpaid Annotation
Subtle investigation into the meaning of exile and home, doubt and faith, loss and love, as a young Muslim exile falls in love with a worldly non-Muslim.

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