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Reading Around the World

As well as St George’s Day, yesterday was also World Book Day. Well, except in the UK, where we officially celebrated it on 5 March (and don’t seem to have bothered with also celebrating copyright – hurrah!); thanks to kind friends on Facebook for bringing that to my attention. I had this date in mind after seeing a tweet that @sylwiapresley posted earlier this month about the Global Voices Book Challenge (#gvbook09).

The challenge was:

  1. Read a book during the next month from a country whose literature you have never read anything of before.
  2. 2) Write a blog post about it during the week of April 23.

You can see the book I picked on my LibraryThing shelf: Nights of Musk: Stories from Old Nubia by Haggag Hassan Oddoul. I can “literaturally” say that I’ve never been to Old Nubia (in Southern Egypt – home of a culture largely destroyed by 20th Century dam building). Oddoul’s book captures stories and characters that are charming, captivating and full of poignant memories from a displaced people. It contains four short stories, of which I liked the first two most, particularly Adila, Grandmother, where a young boy grows up spending his summer holidays in the village his father came from, gradually learning to love and embrace his Nubian heritage.

According to LibraryThing, not a prolific author nor a widely read book but I am grateful to the GV challenge for prompting me to discover Oddoul’s story telling and culture.

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