Lyrics Alley: Book summary and reviews of Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela

Lyrics Alley

A Novel

by Leila Aboulela

Lyrics  Alley by Leila Aboulela X
Lyrics  Alley by Leila Aboulela
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Mar 2011
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Lyrics Alley is the evocative story of an affluent Sudanese family shaken by the shifting powers in their country and the near-tragedy that threatens the legacy they've built for decades. In 1950s Sudan, the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune through their trading firm. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, they can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud's son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to the business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, the family stands divided in the face of an uncertain future.

As British rule nears its end, the country is torn between modernizing influences and the call of traditions past - a conflict reflected in the growing tensions between Mahmoud's two wives: the younger, Nabilah, longs to return to Egypt and escape "backward-looking" Sudan; while Waheeba lives traditionally behind veils and closed doors. It's not until Nur asserts himself outside the cultural limits of his parents that his own spirit and the frayed bonds of his family begin to mend. Moving from Sudanese alleys to cosmopolitan Cairo and a decimated post-colonial Britain, this sweeping tale of desire, loss, despair, and reconciliation is one of the most accomplished portraits ever written about Sudanese society at the time of independence.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Real, compelling, and ultimately moving...Highly recommended for readers who enjoy family sagas set against a political backdrop." - Library Journal

"Rich in detail and generous in spirit toward its complex characters, [Lyrics Alley] showcases Aboulela's talent for connecting political and personal upheaval. [An] elegantly written family epic." - Kirkus Reviews

"Though the novel offers few glimpses into life outside the Abuzeid's sheltered enclave...Aboulela provides fine insight into the practice of Islam...as well as a thoroughly engaging if romanticized exploration of the universal tensions between modernity and tradition..." - Publishers Weekly

"Leila Aboulela writes with tenderness and sensitivity about the hopes of a country on the verge of independence. ...[The] narrative is at once compelling and illuminating, full of the color and cadence of Aboulela's homeland." - Tahmima Anam, author of A Golden Age

"I read it with the delight one has suddenly stumbling on lush and abundant hidden gardens behind foreign city walls, various with its own life and laws, and infinitely satisfying." - Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress

"A tale of powerful feelings and potent words...this visceral, epic novel...gives fascinating insights into Sudanese society, with different characters embodying the dramatic clash between tradition and modernity..." - The Telegraph (UK)

The information about Lyrics Alley shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Leila Aboulela Author Biography

Leila Aboulela won the first Caine Prize for African Writing and is the author of many novels. Minaret was longlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize. The Translator was one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year. Lyrics Alley won the Scottish Trust Book Award for Fiction and was short listed for The Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book (South Asia and Europe), and longlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Her latest novel is The Kindness of Enemies (2016).

Born in Khartoum, Sudan, Aboulela now lives in Doha, Qatar.

Link to Leila Aboulela's Website

Name Pronunciation
Leila Aboulela: Aboul-Ela

Other books by Leila Aboulela at BookBrowse
  • The Kindness of Enemies jacket
  • Minaret jacket

5 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Savage Feast
    Savage Feast
    by Boris Fishman
    I adore authors who not only write about the big themes that possess them, but also drop little ...
  • Book Jacket: Lost Children Archive
    Lost Children Archive
    by Valeria Luiselli
    Lost Children Archive is a feast of language and storytelling that chronicles a family road trip ...
  • Book Jacket: The World According to Fannie Davis
    The World According to Fannie Davis
    by Bridgett M. Davis
    Devoted daughter Bridgett M. Davis was always inspired by her mother Fannie, who provided stability,...
  • Book Jacket: Territory of Light
    Territory of Light
    by Yuko Tsushima
    Set in Tokyo during the late 1970s, Yūko Tsushima's Territory of Light chronicles a year in the...

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Half-Life of Everything
by Deborah Carol Gang

A beautifully written and uplifting debut novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Romantics
    by Tara Conklin

    A sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family, and the ties that bind us together.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Night Tiger
    by Yangsze Choo

    "Wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore."
    --PW, starred review
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Climate Report

The Climate Report

"The most comprehensive assessment of the effects of climate change on the United States."
–The New York Times

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

B I I T Eye O T B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.