Words Without Borders Launches ‘Sudanese Women Writers’ Issue

Yesterday, Words Without Borders launched a special section on Sudanese women’s writing, edited and introduced by translator Sawad Hussain:

This special section also has an additional feature: audio files recorded by three of the five authors have been posted alongside their works, so you can listen to the original.

Aperture: Sudanese Female Novelists Coming into Focus

Aperture: Sudanese Female Novelists Coming Into Focus,” by Sawad Hussain

She writes: “As you dive into these poignant excerpts, savor the literature for its creativity, experimentation, and musicality … but just as important, remember what it took for these voices to reach you.”

At the Coffee Shop,” by Rania Mamoun, tr. Nesrin Amin

At the opening of this excerpt from Son of the Sun: “Oh God! Like that—just like that! In a blink of an eye, a man’s dead!”

Freedom of Flight,” by Ann El Safi, tr. Nariman Youssef

It opens: “The smell of absence seeps into the carnage around me. She has left her bedroom window open.”

Al-Nar Street,” by Zeinab Belail, tr. Nesrin Amin

The residents of Al-Nar Street coexist with demons and djinn from a nearby swamp in this excerpt from Belail’s novel The Cactus Plant, which opens: “Al-Nar Street is one of the longest streets that any of the city’s residents has ever set foot in.”

Basma’s Dream,” by Anna al-Fadl, tr. Katherine Van de Vate

This excerpt from al-Fadl’s novel Some of What Happened Between Us opens: “Basma switched off the tape recorder and fell into a deep sleep. But she soon awoke, terrified, and drew the curtains back from the window overlooking the prison courtyard.”

The Birth of the Spirit,” by Sara Al-Jack, tr. Yasmine Zohdi

This excerpt of Al-Jack’s novel The Mites, opens: “I flipped through a small booklet with a worn-out cover. The title was covered in the white marks of a corrector pen. Beneath it was a drawing of the Nile, from its source to where it drains into the Mediterranean.”