Vanessa Juarez
October 06, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Translator

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Daoud Hari
publisher
Random House
genre
Memoir, Nonfiction

We gave it a B

Sammar, a Sudanese woman mourning the sudden death of her husband, leaves her son behind in Khartoum to work as an Arabic translator at a university in Aberdeen, Scotland. There, she falls for a professor obsessed with Islam — stopping short of actually becoming a practicing Muslim. While the chemistry in The Translator‘s East-meets-West conflict lacks some drama, LeilaAboulela has a way with personifying the five senses in highly poetic imagery: ”Sammar sat up on the bed, leaned against the wall, hugged her knees and stared at the cracks on the ceiling. Some were angry and painful, some were delicate and faint…”

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