6 to Read on Tayeb Salih Day

If it were in winter time, when the palm trees are pollinated, you would find that a dark cloud had descended over the village. A. But the most recent of his works to appear in translation is a very different work, as it is a nonfictional one. I scrutinized his face as he sat in front of me on the verandah of the diwan, cross-legged, holding a cup of coffee, in the forenoon. I took a telegram and opened it, with the Palestinian woman telling me her formidable misfortune, while I was engrossed in my own. Also:
An excerpt on Amazon
Leila Aboulela on Why She Loves Tayeb Salih’s   Wedding of Zein
4. Denys Johnson-Davies
From the novel:
I reckoned that Tureifi must have been thirty-six or thirty-seven, for he was around twelve in the year of the wedding of Zein. A   collection of his short stories was published a year later, in 1961. There was nothing remarkable about the face apart from the narrow, intelligent eyes and that ironic smile at the left-hand corner of the mouth that speaks of a contradiction between what he says and what he means. This novel largely overshadowed his later works, which included   The Wedding of Zein   (1969), Bandarshah   (1971),   and   The Cypriot Man   (1978), as well as a number of short stories, several of which were collected into   The Doum Tree of Wad Hamid. 6 to Read on Tayeb Salih Day

Sudanese novelist Tayib Salih (1929-2009) would have been 91 today. Denys Johnson-Davies, from   Arabic Short Stories,   edited by Denys Johnson-Davies, Roger M. Denys Johnson-Davies:
I must have been very young at the time. Playing Hardy to Salih’s Laurel Mansi takes centre stage among memorable 20th-century arts and political figures, including Samuel Beckett, Margot Fonteyn, Omar Sharif, Arnold Toynbee, Richard Crossman and even the Queen, but always with Salih’s poet “Master” al-Mutanabbi ready with an adroit comment. Bandarshah,   trans. This, my son, would not be dust, nor yet that mist which rises up after rainfall. While I don’t remember exactly how old I was, I do remember that when people saw me with my grandfather they would pat me on the head and give my cheek a pinch – things they didn’t do to my grandfather. Also:
Raja Shehadeh discusses the changing reception of   Season  
“Burst,” a Play Loosely Based on the novel
3. From the book:
Were you to come to our village as a tourist, it is likely, my son, that you would not stay long. He was born in a village in north Sudan and   originally intended to work in agriculture:
With translator Denys Johnson-Davies. The Process of Transformation in al-Tayib Salih’s ‘The Cypriot Man’  
6. Allen
From the story:
“I’m Palestinian — my daughter has died.”
I stood for a while looking at her, not knowing what to say; however, she entered, sat down and said:
“Will you let me rest and feed my child?”
While she was telling me her story the doorbell rang. Photo credit: Paola Crocian
He started publishing stories in the 1953, and it was 1960   when his celebrated “Doum Palm of Wad Hamid” was published in Aswaat   magazine. Also:
“Bandarshah: The Poetics of Amnesia,”   from   Tayeb Salih: Ideology and the Craft of Fiction
5. Denys Johnson-Davies
This is Salih’s most well-known work. The fictional village of Wad Hamid is indeed a place to which Salih returns and returns, the place where we can most easily see the passage of time and the shifts in his narrative. From the publisher’s description:
With humour, wit and erudite poetic insights, Salih shows another side in this affectionate memoir of his exuberant and irrepressible friend Mansi Yousif Bastawrous, sometimes known as Michael Joseph and sometimes as Ahmed Mansi Yousif. At that time Mahjoub was forty-five — I know that for a fact — while Ahmed, who today has become the father of many daughters and whose daughters are of marriageable age, was about twenty in that year. You can read a sample at Amazon or have a short excerpt sent to your table. “A Handful of Dates,” trans. Maybe you have seen this pest before, but I swear that you have never seen this particular species. The Wedding of Zein,   trans. 2. The strange thing was that I never used to go out with my father, rather it was my grandfather who would take me with him wherever he went, except for the mornings, when I would go to the mosque to learn the Koran. You can read an excerpt on NPR   that opens:
It was, gentlemen, after a long absence — seven years to be exact, during which time I was studying in Europe — that I returned to my people. “The Cypriot Man,”   trans. Denys Johnson-Davies
The novella Wedding of Zein   takes place in the same village on the upper Nile where   Season of Migration to the North is set. His most well-known work,   Season of Migration to the North,   was published early in his literary career, in 1967, and published in translation by Salih’s friend and supporter Denys Johnson-Davies just two years later. Season of Migration to the North,   trans. It would be a swarm of those sand-flies which obstruct all paths to those who wish to enter our villae. Mansi: A Rare Man in His Own Way, translated by Adil Babikir,   appeared in 2020 from Banipal Books. Read the complete story
More:
WYNC’s “Underappreciated” series looks at Salih
Tayib Salih in   Banipal
A timeline of Salih’s life
Denys Johnson-Davies on How Tayeb Salih Got His Start
Tayeb Salih’s ‘Season of Migration to the North’: Acclaimed for the Wrong Reason The mosque, the river, and the fields – these were the landmarks in our life. 1.