Society & Culture

Book Review: “A Mouth Full of Salt”

Khartoum – Sudan Events

The Nile brings them life. But the Nile also takes away. 1970s. A village in North Sudan is shaken by the news that a little boy has drowned.
Then the village camels die of a mysterious illness; the date tree fields catch fire and burn to the ground.

The women whisper rumours of a mysterious sorceress from the Nuba mountains.

It is the dry season. The men have no work, the women have their own troubles, the children continue to play where the river runs over its own banks.

For 14-year-old Fatima escape lies in the big city of Khartoum. 1950s. In Khartoum, Nyamakeem is 33, a single mother making her way in a world that keeps girls and women back.

Worse, she’️s from South Sudan. As civil war swells, her position in the capital becomes untenable.
Nyamakeem decides to leave for the village. A Mouth Full of Salt uncovers a country teetering between centuries of tradition and seismic change.

It is worth noting, Novelist Reem Gaafar has received The Island Prize for African Novels 2023 for the manuscript of her debut novel, A Mouth Full of Salt, on 16 June 2023. She is the first Sudanese novelist to be nominated for and win the award.
Established by South African writer Karen Jennings, The Island Award is a literary award, which aims to provide resources and support for new writers on the African continent, and help African writers break into the UK publishing arena.

Open to unpublished novelists from all African countries or the diaspora, this award was established in honour of Jennings’s novel, An Island, which has been longlisted for the Booker prize in 2021.
Announced in April 2023, Gaafar was nominated for the award along with nine African writers, including three writers from South Africa, two from Nigeria, one from Zimbabwe, one from Tanzania and one from Kenya.

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