Author(s): Leila Aboulela
A gripping novel about an orthodox Muslim woman forced into a new life in London
In her Muslim hijab, with her down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich London families whose houses she cleans. But twenty years earlier it was a different story. Najwa was at university in Khartoum and, as an upper-class westernised Sudanese, her dreams were to marry well and raise a family. However, those days of innocence came to an abrupt end and tough years followed. Now Najwa finds solace in her visits to the Mosque, the companionship of the Muslims she meets there and in the hijab she adopts. Her dreams may have shattered but her awakening to Islam has given her a different peace. Then Najwa meets a younger man and slowly they begin to fall in love ... First published 2005.
Minaret has been longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006
'Aboulela paints a fascinating picture of intercultural strife ... Aboulela has chosen a complex structure and keeps perfect control of it. Beautifully written, restrained and lyrical, Minaret is both thought-provoking and disturbing' Independent 'This is the modern female voice ... young, fresh, diverse, challenging, uninhibited' Rachel Cusk 'This is a beautiful, daring, challenging novel' Guardian 'Instead of the coming-of-age novel, we have here perhaps the beginnings of a coming-to-faith genre. The subject matter is important, and Aboulela makes an informed escort into this world' Literary Review
Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 and grew up in Khartoum. She is the author of two books: a novel, The Translator which was published to critical acclaim in 1999 and a book of short stories, Coloured Lights published in 2000. Leila Aboulela lives between Jakarta and Aberdeen.