Details

ISBN-10: 1590173422
ISBN-13: 9781590173428
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Publish Date: 03/02/2010
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 5.00" W, 0.50" H

The Wedding of Zein and Other Stories

Introduction by: Hisham Matar
Translator: Denys Johnson-Davies

Paperback

Price: $15.95

Overview

“The Wedding of Zein” unfolds in the same village on the upper Nile where Tayeb Salih’s tragic masterpiece Season of Migration to the North is set. Here, however, the story that emerges through the overlapping, sometimes contradictory voices of the villagers is comic. Zein is the village idiot, and everyone in the village is dumbfounded when the news goes around that he will be getting married–Zein the freak, Zein who burst into laughter the moment he was born and has kept women and children laughing ever since, Zein who lost all his teeth at six and whose face is completely hairless, Zein married at last? Zein’s particular role in the life of the village has been the peculiar one of falling in love again and again with girls who promptly marry another man. It would be unheard of for him to get married himself.

In Tayeb Salih’s wonderfully agile telling, the story of how this miracle came to be is one that engages the tensions that exist in the village, or indeed in any community: tensions between the devout and the profane, the poor and the propertied, the modern and the traditional. In the end, however, Zein’s ridiculous good luck augurs an ultimate reconciliation, opening a prospect of a world made whole.

Salih’s classic novella appears here with two of his finest short stories, “The Doum Tree of Wad Hamid” and “A Handful of Dates.”

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Reviews
"Tayeb Salih is one of those writers who come upon us stealthily. We welcome them, but discover, after they leave, that they have stolen something precious from us. They have made it imperative for us to reconsider everything." –Ali Al-Rai

"This book. . . has timelessness and universality. . . humanity and abundant humor in all hues. . . insights and worldliness and awareness." –London Tribune

"The Wedding of Zein presents a view of rural life so resilient it seems capable of withstanding challenge from any quarter...Salih weaves the story of Zein's life forward and backward, touching nearly everyone..." -The Christian Science Monitor

"What I find particularly attractive about Mr. Salih's way of writing is his attitude to the village people he describes. All of them are seen in a humourous way; the reader is invited to laugh at them, or at least to smile. And yet this humour is fundamentally kind; even at their most ridiculous, all the characters retain an essential dignity." -Kingsley Amis

"These three stories are interesting, formally, because they show what happens when a considerable sophistication and resourcefulness of technique is applied to traditional storytelling material." -The Guardian (London)

"A group of three sympathetic, well-told tales of Sudanese village life." -The Listener

"It is certainly time that [Salih] be better known in America." –The Christian Science Monitor

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Details

ISBN-10: 1590173422
ISBN-13: 9781590173428
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Publish Date: 03/02/2010
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 5.00" W, 0.50" H
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