Leila Aboulela
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Sudan writer Leila Aboulela on divided wives

One of Sudan's most acclaimed writers, Leila Aboulela, paints a powerful picture of the contradictions between tradition and modernity - mainly through the two wives of a prominent merchant - in her most recent novel, Lyrics Alley.

At some point one of them, a young Egyptian woman, starts considering divorce.

The novel also deals with contentious issues like female circumcision and women's access to education.

Ms Aboulela, who has won the prestigious Caine Prize for African literature and other awards, sets the action in the 1950s but, as she told the BBC Africa's Bola Mosuro: "Still these things happen."

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  • 16 Feb 2012
  • From the section Africa