Tayeb Salih was born in 1929 in rural Karmakol, in northern Sudan. He studied at the University of Khartoum. Like the narrator of Season of Migration to the North, Salih worked as a teacher in Sudan, before working for the BBC Arabic Service. He then worked in a variety of diplomatic positions, including as the director general of the Ministry of Information in Doha, Qatar, and as representative to the Gulf States for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). After years of success as a diplomat and education advocate, Salih published Season of Migration to the North in 1969. The novel won immediate accolades from critics worldwide, and it remains his most famous book, alongside the novella The Wedding of Zein. Despite this critical acclaim, most of Salih's work remains untranslated. His collected works, which include political essays, travel writing, and book reviews, are popular and widely available in Arabic. Even so, Salih remained a controversial figure into his old age, publishing an essay in 1990 that was sharply critical of the Islamist regime in charge of Sudan at the time. He died in 2009.
Archive available for: Tayeb Salih
Four Arabian writers discussed the future of the Arabic novel. Tayeb Salih (London, moderator), May Telmissany (Cairo), Fouad Laroui (Amsterdam) and Hanaan as-Sjaikh (London) discussed subjects like globalisation and the Arabic novel in postmodern times. The discussion was in Arabic. The non-Arabic audience could hear a simultaneious translation into Dutch via headphones.
Arabic novels are being read more and more in The Netherlands.. Winternachten brought together four Arabic writers in a conversation with Michaël Zeeman. Hanaan as-Sjaikh grew up in Lebanon and now lives in London. De Moroccan Fouad Laroui studied in Paris and now lives in Amsterdam. Shortly before the festival his very well reviewed novel ' Kijk uit voor parachutisten' was published. Tayeb Salih (Sudan, 1926), is one of the leading Sudanese writers and an authority on Arabic literature. English spoken.