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The Translator
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Archived | Regional Books 2018 > Sept/Oct 2018 | The Translator by Leila Aboulela SPOILERS ALLOWED

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message 1: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (last edited Jul 30, 2018 04:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anetq | 695 comments Mod
This thread is for our Sept/Oct 2018 read King Leopold's Ghost, by The Translator by Leila Aboulela SPOILERS ALLOWED
(Find the no-spoiler thread here)


message 2: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anetq | 695 comments Mod
Without spoiling really, let me just say how refreshing it is to have a muslim woman thinking, speaking and explaining herself (there is so much speaking for and about muslim women, rarely do they get their own voice!) - it makes for a different point of view that shapes the story and it's course!


Kansas | 5 comments It's already the second book I read by Leila Aboulela and enjoyed both of them so much because "Minaret" was an interesting book about exile where identity played a very important role, and The Translator is not just about identity and exile, but religion and conversion and how "we" from Western Culture observe and judge Eastern Culture. Loved it!!

saludos from Spain


Heather | 1 comments I've just finished "The Translator" and found it to be an interesting and lovely character study. I am wondering if Ms. Aboulelea's intended audience was Muslim women, as the theme of a "Pure" Muslim marriage was so strong. Personally, I enjoyed the point of view and thoughts of the main character, but in my circle of book-reading friends, books that resolve in a woman being "saved" by marriage often generate a collective sigh. Again, I enjoyed this read, particularly the stream of consciousness, dreamy writing. Thank you for including me in this thread!


message 5: by Tinea, Nonfiction Logistician (last edited Sep 06, 2018 04:09PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tinea (pist) | 370 comments Mod
I finished The Translator this week. It was an easy, breezy, beautiful read. I loved the characterization and the setting, the details of each place, the absence or complicating of value judgments about what makes a place better.

I rolled my eyes hard at the ending. It felt like a capitulation for the sake of the romance genre. Jarring, when the rest of the characterization was so spot on. I've tried to sit with the thought that perhaps it's my own biases that can't accept that he would "really" convert, so the book's been good medicine and a challenge to tease out since I put it down.


message 6: by Wim, French Readings (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wim | 665 comments Mod
I finished The Translator yesterday and I enjoyed reading it, its slow unfolding and its beautiful and realistic descriptions (how the heat feels when power breaks down and the fan stops turning!),

But I was put off by the stereotypical framing of life in the West vs. life in a country as Sudan, and frustrated by the very passive behavior and fatalistic attitude of Sammar. In the end I did not really feel much sympathy for her...

I didn't like the ending either, Tinea, it felt too unrealistic, Rae converting and Sammar being so lucky.


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