Leila Aboulela (born 1964) is a Sudanese writer who lives in Great Britain and writes in English. Her most recent books are the novel Bird Summons (2019) and the short-story collection Elsewhere, Home which was the winner of the 2018 Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award. Her novel The Kindness of Enemies (2015), was inspired by the life of Imam Shamil, who united the tribes of the Caucasus to fight against Russian Imperial expansion. Aboulela's 2011 novel, Lyrics Alley, was Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards and short-listed for a Regional Commonwealth Writers Prize. She is also the author of the novels The Translator (a New York Times 100 Notable Book of the Year) and Minaret. All three novels were long-listed for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award. Leila Aboulela won the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "The Museum", included in the collection Coloured Lights, which went on to be short-listed for the Macmillan/Silver PEN award. Aboulela's work has been translated into 15 languages and included in publications such as Harper's Magazine, Granta, The Washington Post and The Guardian.
In her new collection of stories, award-winning New York Times Notable author Leila Aboulela offers us a rich tableau of life as an immigrant abroad, and the challenges of navigating assimilation and difference. Elsewhere, Home draws us ineluctably into the lives of her characters as they forge new identities and reshape old ones.
A young woman’s encounter with a former classmate elicits painful reminders of her former life in Khartoum. A wealthy Sudanese student studying in Aberdeen begins an unlikely friendship with a Scottish man. A woman experiences an evolving relationship to her favorite writer, whose portrait of their shared culture both reflects and conflicts with her own sense of identity.
Shuttling between the dusty, sunbaked streets of Khartoum and the university halls and cramped apartments of Aberdeen and London, Elsewhere, Home explores, with subtlety and restraint, the profound feelings of yearning, loss, and alienation that come with leaving one’s homeland in pursuit of a different life.