In this reverse of Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’, an unnamed narrator returns home to a postcolonial Sudan after being educated in Europe and meets a man called Mustafa Sa’eed. As they get acquainted, Mustapha recounts his own experiences and obsession with Western culture as well as his violent dalliances with English women but there is something disturbingly familiar about both the stories and Mustapha.
Tayeb Salih was born in Northern Sudan in 1929 and educated at the University of Khartoum. After a brief period working as a teacher, he moved to London to work with the BBC Arabic Service. Salih later worked as Director-General of Information in Qatar in the Arabian Gulf; with Unesco in Paris and an Unesco's representative in the Arab Gulf States. Tayeb Salih is widely acknowledged as one of the most important Arab writers of the 20th century, he died in 2009.