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Mahjoub, Jamal

Mahjoub, Jamal


Jamal Mahjoub, born in London, United Kingdom, in 1960. MA in Geology from Sheffield University. Writer.

Writer in Residence (1 February 2015 – 30 June 2015)

Confluence of Dreams (working title)

Project Description

Mahjoub’s writing is largely concerned with questions of identity, at both national and personal levels. His first three novels offer telescopic histories of Sudan from the 19th century to the present. His fourth novel, The Carrier (Phoenix House 1998), is set partly in the 16th century and is concerned with Arabic science and heliocentrism. Travelling With Djinns (Chatto & Windus 2003), his road novel of discovery and reconciliation, won the Prix de l’Astrolabe at the Etonnants Voyageurs Festival in France in 2004. The Drift Latitudes is the story of two half sisters seeking to reconcile their family ties across racial and national boundaries. Nubian Indigo examines the consequences of the flooding of the Nile valley following the construction of the Aswan High Dam. In addition to his novels, Jamal Mahjoub has contributed short stories, essays and reviews to a wide range of publications.

He is currently writing a piece of non-fiction charting the progress of Sudan from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 to the general elections of 2010 and the referendum which will decide the fate of the country in 2011. “The project emerged from my reaction to the conflict in Darfur. Originally I wanted to write about this, but soon realised that the terrible things that were happening in Darfur were, like so much more in the country’s history, simply a part of a much larger malaise. I decided that in order to do justice to the situation I had to write about what was happening at the centre.”

Selected Publications

1) The Carrier (Phoenix House 1998)

2) Travelling With Djinns (Chatto & Windus 2003)

3) “Salamanca” in Best American Essays (Ed. A. Gopnik, 2008)

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