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Bird Summons

Leila Aboulela

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

An enchanting, deeply felt portrait of three women searching for freedom, from the three-times Orange Prize longlisted, Scottish Book Award and Caine Prize winner Leila Aboulela.

'BIRD SUMMONS is a magic carpet ride into the forest of history and the lives of women. Deep and wild' Lucy Ellmann, Booker-longlisted author of Ducks, Newburyport

Salma, happily married, tries every day to fit into life in Britain. When her first love contacts her, she is tempted to risk it all and return to Egypt.

Moni gave up a career in banking to care for her disabled son, but now her husband wants to move to Saudi Arabia - where she fears her son's condition will worsen.

Iman feels burdened by her beauty. In her twenties and already in her third marriage, she is treated like a pet and longs for freedom.

On a road trip to the Scottish Highlands, the women are visited by the Hoopoe, a sacred bird whose fables from Muslim and Celtic literature compel them to question the balance between faith and femininity, love, loyalty and sacrifice.

Brilliantly imagined, intense and haunting, Bird Summons confirms Leila Aboulela's reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers.

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Praise for Bird Summons

  • Tender, but unsentimental . . . rooted in everyday experience without forsaking the spiritual . . . told in effortlessly enjoyable style - DAILY MAIL

  • Aboulela is doing much the same thing as Jane Austen did when she brought her heroines to the point of examining their feelings honestly ... a very good novel - SCOTSMAN

  • BIRD SUMMONS is a magic carpet ride into the forest of history and the lives of women. Deep and wild

  • BIRD SUMMONS is a Scottish-Arabic Canterbury Tales, a quest full of stories and surprises: a challenging storyteller's tour de force, uniting two radically different cultures with a handshake and a kiss

  • Aboulela's is a unique and refreshing voice in contemporary Scottish fiction

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Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela was born in Cairo and grew up in Khartoum. She is the author of four novels: THE TRANSLATOR, MINARET and LYRICS ALLEY, all of which were longlisted for the Orange Prize, and THE KINDNESS OF ENEMIES. LYRICS ALLEY won Novel of the Year at the Scottish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, while Aboulela's collection of short fiction, COLOURED LIGHTS, won the Caine Prize. She lives in Aberdeen.

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