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Daughter of Dust: Growing up an Outcast in the Desert of Sudan

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3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
A beautifully written memoir of growing up abandoned in the desert city of Khartoum.
Leila understands from early on that she is not part of normal Sudanese society. Her parents are unable to care for her, so she is banished to a strict orphanage, along with children born outside marriage. At school, Leila and her best friend Amal are called 'daughters of sin'. Her pretty s
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 6th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2009)
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Asha Greye
Nov 02, 2016 Asha Greye rated it it was amazing
In 1960s and 1970s Sudan, to have no father to protect you was a fate worse than death and you are forever marked. Fatherless Leila was hidden away behind the gates and walls of institutions from her earliest years, sheltered from the outside world with its' unforgiving harshness yet always aware often painfully that she was all but outright cursed and would never be afforded the same things as everyone else. Blood bonds mean nothing as she learns upon encountering in the 2nd institution, the ...more
Enya-Marie
Aug 16, 2015 Enya-Marie rated it really liked it
This book is astonishingly powerful in its simplicity and was really thought-provoking in terms of what one considers a 'normal' way of living. There were so many aspects to Sudanese life and culture that I'd never heard of or fundamentally disagreed with yet, from the point of view of an inside perspective, were understandable given the context.

This book is very hard-hitting and not something to be read lightly despite it's simple language. Leila's confusion about the bigger picture surrounding
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Kate Mayfield
Nov 07, 2012 Kate Mayfield rated it it was amazing
The story of Leila, the courageous and spirited survivor of the most devastating prejudice, is very moving and powerful. The amazing detail that the author conjures in the telling is remarkable. I was so engrossed while reading that I suddenly realized, quite unexpectedly, that the book is a page tuner.

The cultural aspects of "Daughter of Dust" are informative and beautifully woven into the main narrative. The harrowing details are not at all gratuitous, and they so easily could be. The reader i
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Kathy Chung
It was a bit dry in the beginning where there is a lot of thinbgs that Leila didn't know . Reminds me of myself when I was less than10 yrs old. Guess their side of the world practice the same thing children are to be look after instead of listening to.

I think it would have been a great help if her sister could have fill in the blanks on the part of their life when they were younger.

The flow of the memoir gets better when Leila reach maturity. Things were described more vividly.

I hope after writi
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Sep 01, 2012 Katy rated it it was ok
An amazing spirited woman... who overcame a very sad and embattled childhood.
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I grew up in Kent, in England, and later graduated in Media Studies from what was then Central London Polytechnic. I worked first as a photographer, then for many years as a feature writer, before turning to fiction.

I’ve written for the Times, the Times Educational Supplement, the Guardian, the Telegraph and many other magazines and newspapers.

My journalism, on Sudan and later on schools, led to
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