I recently finished Jamal’s Mahjoub’s novel Travelling with Djinns and I have to say it was better than I expected. I borrowed it from Amal back in Doha maybe two months ago but I never got around to reading it for one reason or another.
It tells the story of a Sudanese-British man whose marriage is in shambles so he decides to take his seven- year-old son on a road trip across Europe before he loses him to his wife when they eventually separate. It is well-written novel about travel, identity, relationships, family bonds and finding oneself. Yes, it tackles the cliché topic of being lost between East and the West but it puts forward a number of intriguing ideas. For those that love travel and enjoy reading about the crisis of identity, this book is an enjoyable read.
Right after finishing it, I picked up Sandpiper, a collection of short stories by Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif. I fell in love with Soueif’s writings after reading In the Eye of the Sun, which I thought was brilliant. Sandpiper is not as a powerful but is enjoyable nevertheless, perfect for a bed-time or plane read. There are just too many good books out there and too little time.