Last Saturday, the Sudanese Ministry of Culture and Information announced that prominent novelist Ibrahim Ishaq had died in the United States. He was 75:
Ishaq was born in what is now East Darfur in 1946. He graduated from the Teachers Institute in Omdurman in 1969, and that was also the year his first novel, It Happened in the Village, was published in Khartoum. He went on to publish a number of other novels and short-story collections, as well as academic studies.
In Tayeb Salih Speaks: Four Interviews with the Sudanese Novelist, by Constance E. G. Berkley and Osman Hassan Ahmed, Salih said of Ishaq’s It Happened in the Village that it was “written in a lively language that gives full light to Western Sudan.”
Also, according to Sudanow Magazine, Salih had said of the late author: “Ibrahim Ishaq is a really great writer with novels that presented majestic technical images from Western Sudan, seen for the first time in Sudanese literature. It is a world nearly unknown to the people of central and northern Sudan. …. When I read Ibrahim Ishaq’s novels and the beautiful short stories of Zaha’a Altahir, I feel sorry not to have known that remote, amazing world.”
The Sudanese Writers Union said, in a statement, that the late Ishaq had “built a wide literary reputation with distinct, innovative novels new to Sudan, and in which he presented new technical images from Western Sudan. Ishaq dug deep into his local environment of Western Sudan. In addition, Ishaq’s narrative had touched the Sudanese conscience with a language quite unique and special.”
His work also appeared in Literary Sudans, ed. Bhakti Shringarpure