Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Wedding of Zein by Tayeb Salih

This is a charming short story. One day in a little Sudanese village spreads a gossip about the wedding of Zein. The people are astonished with the news as Zein neither has looks nor brains and is considered a weirdo in a village. He's a good boy, giving most help to disabled and poor and bringing joy to everyone with his jokes, stories and laughter. He's said to be born with laughter on his mouth instead of crying after all. Zein falls in love with different girls from the village all the time, but each time the girl is given to someone else. Because although people dearly love Zein, noone would give him his daughter. So how is it possible that Zein is getting married finally?

So that's the main story in the background of which we can observe the daily live of the Sudanese village, the habits and customs of the people there. And the other picture of muslims than it is given in the books about badly treated women and tv programms about fanatics. I think we need more literature like this.

 PS. And the cover of Polish edition is so lovely :D The colors are as warm as the story inside;)


  1. It sounds like a great story.......hey the word verification words are zenwed how strange is that.........

  2. I'm really curious about this book but I've read so many books lately that seem to be set in Islamic countries that I need to think about reading something different.

  3. I don't read many books set in Islamic countries or African literature as it seems not so many are translated into Polish. So for me this was something different:)

  4. Oh I'd love to read this one, since I am VERY interested in African literature and I've already discovered some absolutely amazing authors like Wole Soyinka, Amadou Hampâté Bâ (who said that when an old man in Africa dies, it's like when a library burns down), Chinua Achebe, Sembène Ousmane...
    I think in our times it is absolutely necessary to read more books like this about people in Islamic countries or in Africa, about their lives and customs and feelings, we need to see faces of single persons to be able to get rid of this faceless scary picture the media like to give us!!