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The Translator

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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  823 ratings  ·  152 reviews
American readers were introduced to the award-winning Sudanese author Leila Aboulela with "Minaret," a delicate tale of a privileged young African Muslim woman adjusting to her new life as a maid in London. Now, for the first time in North America, we step back to her extraordinarily assured debut about a widowed Muslim mother living in Aberdeen who falls in love with a Sc ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove Press (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,015)
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Sadia
This is undoubtedly one of the best books I've had the opportunity to read. The characters make your heart soar, the dialogues, images, themes are all profoundly moving. I have not had such an emotional response to a piece of fiction in a long time. I learned many things from this book: I remembered prayer, I thought of loss, and love and the pervasive nature of love that allows you to conquer fear and stigma. I learned about the beauty of the human spirit to persevere, to hold onto love despite ...more
Alicia
The story of (oddly enough) a translator:) This is about a Sudanese widow who has embraced her Islamic religion. She is living in Scotland when she start working as an Arabic translator for an Islamic scholar who is not a believer. After they fall in love she must decide what is stronger, her love or her faith. What this novel explores with great finesse is the true nature of faith. What it means to be faithful and what it means to give your life over to that. The language in this novel is a joy ...more
Catherine
I was both absorbed by and ambivalent about this book - which is an oddity, because I wouldn't have thought it was possible to be both at once. But here I am - absorbed and ambivalent - having wanted very much to see where the story would go, and yet not really finding Aboulela's writing particularly compelling.

The Translator focuses on the life of Summar, a young, Sudanese widow in Aberdeen, who translates Arabic texts for a department at the local university. There she meets Rae, an Islamic sc
...more
Deepti
The Translator is about Sammar, a Muslim widow, who moves to Scotland with her husband before he dies in a car accident. Its a moving and accurate tale about a demographic that is inexplicable to most Westerners: the Muslim woman. The tale starts with Sammar translating a document sent by a terrorist group. She notes how rife with spelling mistakes it is, how pathetic and instantly creates a barrier between Muslims like her, and uneducated extremists like them, fighting against a force they don' ...more
رياض المسيبلي
إذا كانت رواية (موسم الهجرة ...) للراحل العظيم الطيب صالح تمثل حيرة الجنوب أمام الشمال الأوروبي, أو الشرق
أمام الغرب, والهزة العنيفة التي تولدت من هكذا لقاء, فإنّ رواية الأستاذة ليلى على النقيض من ذلك تماما.
إنها قصة امراة تحافظ على هويتها وتحمل ذاتها المسلمة العربية صامدة أمام الاكتساح الغربي.
إنها رواية آلام الغربة والبعد عن الوطن, آلام صراع الهوية والدفاع عنها, وقصة ألم المرأة الشرقية التي تنبت في
أوطانها وتلاحقها أينما حلت.
رواية رائعة, لكاتبة أروع
Faith
I really love Aboulela's writing style. In this novel, like her latter two, she has a precise yet lyrical writing style that really pulls the reader in. Aboulela can take the mundane and show just how special it really is. Whether it's the daily prayer that Muslims do, taking a child to school or sitting in an office and eating lunch with a co-worker, Aboulela manages to make these ordinary activities into something profound and meaningful with just a few words.

As with her other novels, Aboulela
...more
Samar Almossa
لقد أمتعتني الكاتبة بهذه الرواية المميزة جداً والتي تستحق الجائزة التي حصلت عليها
هي شرف لنا كمسلمة وروائية واقعية

. ليلى كاتبة متمكنة ورائعة ومؤثرة كم أعجبنتي القصة خصوصا حين أخذت الأحداث مجراها في السودان . مميزة بحق


بداية الرواية حتى منتصفها ممل بعض الشيء ولكن
ماأن تتفجر الأحداث في المنتصف حتى تصبح جذابة جداً
تتناول حياة أرملة كانت تعمل في مكتب

تتعلق بصاحبه وتتمنى أن ترتبط به ولكن هناك أزمات هناك فرق في الديانة وفي أمور كثيرة
تركت الغربة وعادت إلى بلدها " السودان " لتواجه مواقف مختلفه مع عائلته
...more
Kt Thames
Based on the reviews of the novel, I was expecting more from the book and was disappointed. That being said, it does feature some lovely writing and I thought the main character, Sammar, was beautifully drawn. However, the other characters felt flat, especially when compared to Sammar. Most disappointing was the fleeting description of Islam and Sammar's own spiritual path. I enjoy reading about different religions and the author gives the reader some tantalizing glimpses into that faith that le ...more
Ibtisam hashim
I was expecting a lot from this novel when i bought it! I am now disappointed..2 stars for its beautiful language & the rich scent of Sudan!
I hated the gloomy side of Sammar,i hated her detachment from her son(her own flesh & blood),i hated how she cornered Rae to convert &marry her! LoL
I loved the Sudan part of the story..it was closer to my soul!!
Jessica
This is a beautiful novel, one which provides a window onto the Islamic faith and hope that there might be understanding between East and West.
Chahrazad
So this is one of the moments when the mood for a nice love story strikes me. A love story not like the cheesy ones we see nowadays, but rather something of a transcendatalist nature.... And I found this one!

Sammar, a Sudanese widowed translator, who lives in Aberdeen Scotland, faces loneliness and exile as her beloved husband, Tarig, dies in a car accident. Her faith keeps her from surrendering to a hollow life or to an inevitable suicide. She meets Rae, an Islamic scholar in the university whe
...more
ولاء المعز
من اروع ما قرأت علي الاطلاق ..

ليلي ابوالعلا كاتبه سودانيه-بريطانيه .. لطالما وددت ان يتحدث سوداني عن وطنه ولكن بهرتني في هذه الروايه بأن الذي يشدها ليست القوميه ولكنه الدين

تتحدث الروايه بأختصار عن ارمله شابه فقدت زوجها اثر حادث سير مما اصابها حاله من الاكتئاب وتخلت عن الجميع حتي ابنها ورضيت بالعزله في استكلندا حيث فارقت زوجها .. احبت رئيسها في العمل الذي يعمل كباحث في الشؤون الاسلاميه وهو كذلك ,ولكن فرق الديانات كان له اثر في تباعدهما

تتحول الروايه من الحنين الي الزوج والي الماضي الي التوق للمست
...more
Freda
Jul 03, 2007 Freda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: islamicfiction
This is a wonderful book in every way - well written, true to life. The central character is a Muslim woman of Sudanese origin,Sammar, living in Scotland. She falls in love with a Scot secular Islamic scholar and goes through the agony of loving him but knowing that she has to keep her Islamic distance from him. Finally she pleads with him to take the Shahadah so they can marry. He refuses because he isn't sure that he believes. Since it is a 'romance' it ends happily when he accept Islam in his ...more
Hafsa
Refreshing, serene, and honest. I think this is one of the first books I've read either about or by a Muslim woman that didn't make me want to bang my head against the wall.

The two main characters--Rae and Sammar--are described so beautifully--and I enjoyed the simple way in which she described their budding relationship. The themes of love and loss, doubt and faith, prayer and patience, were beautifully navigated. One of my favorite lines was near the end, when Rae tells Sammar that what he re
...more
Cărți și călătorii
Cu The Translator am avut surpriza să descopăr un roman frumos și liric și un subiect despre care nu citisem mai nimic până la cartea scriitoarei sudaneze. Leila Aboulela folosește aici elemente din biografia ei și le împletește cu o poveste de dragoste, cu întrebări legate de religie, de limitele traducerii și de alegerile pe care le facem în viață.

Câteva cuvinte despre subiect: Sammar este sudaneză, tânără și văduvă și lucrează în Aberdeen, Scoția, ca traducătoare de arabă la universitate. Dup
...more
Jayne Charles
A lot of the reviews on the cover of this book refer to the “restraint” with which it is written, and I would have to say that restraint was the main impression it left me with. It was like watching TV through a veil. The central idea was really interesting – the relationship between a Muslim woman and her boss, a Scottish academic who is an expert on Islam but not a convert. To be honest, I couldn’t hear enough about this particular conundrum, but there seemed a determination not to overcook it ...more
Judy
Sammar, a Sudanese widow, lives in Scotland and works as an Arabic translator at an Aberdeen university. She surfaces from debilitating grief as she realizes that love has slowly developed between her and a Scottish scholar of Arabic/Islamic studies.
Aboulela convincingly describes the anguish of Sammar's cross-cultural dilemmas. She brings to life scenes of Aberdeen and Khartoum. I highly recommend this sweet love story!
Suha
The novel is interesting, telling a story of a modern single eastern women in the west. The story basically has no events and no drama, yet I see that Aboulela succeeded in reflecting the figure of the eastern modern women as faithful and loyal to her religion and culture.

Sammar the protagonist is a passive and flat character, she does not strive to make a change instead she waits the change and accept it, she can't be a popular character even if she tried so hard. She reflected with Rae though
...more
Zahrah Awaleh
I liked this better than The Minaret because the characters are more rounded and complex. You really get inside the head of the heroine and feel what it's like to experience bereavement in exile. She finally shows the reader that she's strong enough to set free the man she loves , only for him to return to her as a Muslim. This part was a bit sentimental I suppose and predictable, but the girl deserves some happiness!!!
Roma
Sammar, the Sudanese translator, is a young widow who lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. She falls in love with her employer, an ultra-left wing Islam-groupie. At first, he's unwilling to take the plunge and convert, but in the end he does. So, happily ever after. LOL

This novel is reasonably well-written, though.
Samantha
Finally, a romance where the female does lose who she is and what she can be to get the male. The protagonist stays true to herself and falls in love! The gorgeous prose offers a glimpse into the life of a Muslim widow.
Nur Jayadi
saat awal-awal membaca tak begitu gereget,begitu memasuki halaman berikutnya saya merasa terbawa kemana-mana oleh cara penuturan penulis,dari masa lalu yang menyakitkan si Sammar atas kehilangan Tarig dan kehidupan awalnya di Inggris,dan malam ini saya merasa gereget dengan pertanyaan yang diajukan temannya,Yasmin yang bertanya apakah ia berniat menikahi Rae,seorang dosen yang sudah bercerai dan memiliki seorang putri jika ia menjadi mualaf meski Rae sendiri adalah orang yang menyukai islam dan ...more
Nur Jayadi
saat awal-awal membaca tak begitu gereget,begitu memasuki halaman berikutnya saya merasa terbawa kemana-mana oleh cara penuturan penulis,dari masa lalu yang menyakitkan si Sammar atas kehilangan Tarig dan kehidupan awalnya di Inggris,dan malam ini saya merasa gereget dengan pertanyaan yang diajukan temannya,Yasmin yang bertanya apakah ia berniat menikahi Rae,seorang dosen yang sudah bercerai dan memiliki seorang putri jika ia menjadi mualaf meski Rae sendiri adalah orang yang menyukai islam dan ...more
Susanna Rose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Friederike Knabe
Aberdeen, Scotland and Khartoum, Sudan, cities more dissimilar than one could imagine, form the backdrop to this finely crafted, tender cross-cultural love story. They are intimately connected through the main character, Sammar, as she experiences the stark contrasts of culture, history and climate. Yet, she remains very much attached to both places. Leila Aboulela builds on her own experience to create the very personal associations between place and character. The author's brief, yet rich, nov ...more
Utami
Akhirnya selesai juga baca buku iniiiiii *sujud syukur*

Saya beli buku ini karena promosinya Gramedia. Dan saya pikir, biasanya penerbit GPU cukup bagus untuk masalah translasi bahasa. Selainitu, sampulnya menarik bagi saya. Biruuuuu :D. Baca sinopsis di belakangnya, hmmm... looks interesting. Jadilah saya beli.

Jadi begini, there is this woman, Sammar, yang bekerja sebagai penerjemah bahasa Arab di Skotlandia. Salah satu atasan dia, Rae, seorang profesor, adalah peneliti bidang politik Islam *or
...more
luciddreamer99
I started out the story not liking Sammar, as she is not the world's best mother, and she is a bit selfish in general. As the story unfolded, though, I found myself drawn in by the love story of her and Rae. She seems unaware of how much she affects him, and her self-consciousness is endearing in that it helps the reader sympathize with her a bit (at least it did for me). Sammar seems willing to forgo her requirement that her husband share her religious beliefs because her love for Rae is so str ...more
ضُحى
Aug 12, 2010 ضُحى rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: للي قرا "موسم الهجرة إلى الشمال " للأرتباط اللي بينهم
Recommended to ضُحى by: لا احد ..من تلقاء نفسي
من تعليق سابق:



(الخميس 6-4-30 بدأت في قراءة روايه ),في نظرتي الاولى لها ومن على رفوف المكتبه لم يكن الغلاف جذاباً ولم تكن الكاتبه مشهوره,ولكن بتصفحها سريعاً احسست انها تأخذني الى روايه اخرى بحثت عنها مطولا ولم اجدها وهي " موسم الهجره الى الشمال " .. التشابه الاوليّ بينهم ان كلا الكاتبين من السودان,وان كلاهما يصور الاحداث في الغربه.فرحت لهذا التشابه ومضيت بمقولة " العوض ولا الحريمه"!

ولأني مذ ان كنت صغيره اكره الروايات!ولم تكن من الكتب المفظله لدي,حتى اذا وجدت قريباتي ينشغلن بروايات "عبير" كنت اضحك
...more
Heidi
The Translator is one of those books that has a simple storyline and seems easy to pass over for want of a more exciting tale. Yet the language that the author employs is wonderfully rich and evocative, causing simple scenes to burst fully to life – all hues in Technicolor glory, with the music playing in the background and the reader fully enmeshed in the story unfolding before them.

The plot concerns Sammar, a Sudanese Muslim woman who lives in Aberdeen and works as an Arabic translator for the
...more
Tyler Stoffel
The story was good, though it was told through a bit of a haze. Personally, I did not like that Rae converted because I don't believe in conversion. I believe religion is a part of one's culture and heritage, not a personal choice. However, if the choice were to be made, the only reason I would accept for converting would be love.

Aboulela focused more on the love between the characters and faith than the love between the characters. The two leads were well developed, deep characters with pasts.
...more
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Leila Aboulela grew up in Khartoum, Sudan where she attended the Khartoum American School and Sister School. She graduated from Khartoum University in 1985 with a degree in Economics and was awarded her Masters degree in statistics from the London School of Economics. She lived for many years in Aberdeen where she wrote most of her works while looking after her family; she currently lives and lect ...more
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“This is the enemy, what is irreversible, what has already reached the farthest of places. There is no going back. They can bomb bus-loads of tourists, burn the American flag, but they are not shooting the enemy. It is already with them, inside them, what makes them resentful, defensive, what makes them no longer confident of their vision of the world.” 5 likes
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