Photo credit: Rania Rustom
Leila Aboulela is the first-ever winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Nominated three times for the Orange Prize (now the Women’s Prize for Fiction), she is the author of numerous novels, including Bird Summons, The Kindness of Enemies, The Translator, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Minaret and Lyrics Alley, which was Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards. Her collection of short stories Elsewhere, Home won the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year. Leila’s work has been translated into fifteen languages, and her plays The Insider, The Mystic Life and others were broadcast on BBC Radio. She grew up in Khartoum, Sudan, and now lives in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Leila Aboulela is a Sudanese writer whose work has received critical recognition and a high profile for its depiction of the interior lives of Muslim women and its distinctive exploration of identity, migration and Islamic spirituality. She is the author of six novels: River Spirit, Bird Summons, Minaret, The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, The Kindness of Enemies and Lyrics Alley, Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards. Leila was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and her latest story collection, Elsewhere, Home won the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages and she was long-listed three times for the Orange Prize, (now the Women’s Prize for Fiction). Leila grew up in Khartoum and moved in her mid-twenties to Aberdeen.
Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 in Cairo, to an Egyptian mother and a Sudanese father. She moved to Sudan at the age of six weeks and lived in Khartoum continuously until 1987. Leila learnt English at the Khartoum American School and at the Sisters’ School, a private Catholic High school. She graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Khartoum specializing in Statistics. She then travelled to Britain where she was awarded a M.Sc. and an MPhil in Statistics from the London School of Economics. In 1990 Leila moved to Scotland with her husband and children. She started writing in 1992 while working as a lecturer in Aberdeen College and later as a Research Assistant in Aberdeen University. From 2000, Leila and her family lived in Jakarta, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha before moving back, in 2012, to Aberdeen.