Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

A LINE IN THE RIVER

  • Written by  Jules Stewart
  • Published in Books
A LINE IN THE RIVER
18 Jul
2018
by Jamal Mahjoub • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

The history of Sudan encompasses more than 2,000 years, from the ancient Kingdom of Kush to the turbulent present. What was once a vast sub-Saharan region of uncertain extent became an independent country in 1956, with the withdrawal of British and Egyptian colonial rulers.

Sudan is the third largest country in Africa after Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is nearly one million square miles in area, spanning 18 degrees of latitude and comprising two per cent of the world’s land mass. Even so, little is known about the country that started life with a promising future, but quickly descended into civil war and ethnic conflict, a state of affairs that still casts an indelible shadow. At best, a pre-sanitised British school curriculum would have sung the praises of Field Marshal Herbert Kitchener’s victory at Khartoum in 1898, to avenge the murder of General Charles Gordon by the Mahdi’s Islamic forces.

The British-Sudanese author Jamal Mahjoub has until now explored the political events of Sudan in a series of widely-acclaimed novels. Returning to Khartoum after an absence of many years, Mahjoub turns to non-fiction to tell this story in a time frame coinciding with the six years of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 that ended the civil war, and the secession of 2011 that resulted in the creation of South Sudan. The most recent conflict was, in reality, a continuation of the first civil war which ravaged the country between 1955 and 1972.

Part travelogue, part memoir, Mahjoub’s narrative is above all a testimony of impressions that draws parallels between Sudan and the problems in the world today: racial tensions in the US, the rise of the far right in Europe, the persecution of minorities in numerous countries. For the author, Sudan’s case offers a micro-study of the perils of failing to meet the challenges of harmonious coexistence. Leaving aside the wider implications, the book is a highly readable and authoritative celebration of a little-understood country and its capital city.

Click here to purchase A Line in the River by Jamal Mahjoub via Amazon

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Reviews

A relaxed podcast, in which actor David Oakes interviews professionals…

Exhibitions

Exploring ideas of identity, heritage and life after trauma, Bahith…

Books

by Alex Rogers • Wildfire • £20 (hardback)

Films

An ‘environmental thriller’ focusing on the lives of campaigners working…

Exhibitions

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is open to visitors…

Films

In this moving, sometimes harrowing film from director Anthony Woodley,…

Films

A brutal, hard-hitting coming-of-age tale that doesn’t hold its punches

Books

by Peter Martell • Hurst • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Dan Richards • Canongate • £19.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jeremy Purseglove • Profile Books • £14.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Peter Hessler • Profile Books • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard • Little, Brown • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Robert Macfarlane • Hamish Hamilton • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Exhibitions

An exhibition at the V&A brings together innovations from across…

Books

Dead in the Water edited by Bruce Shoemakers and William…

Films

A brutally realistic film about a cruel and pointless confrontation

Books

by Mike Berners-Lee • Cambridge University Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

In our attempt to control the natural world, humans have…

Books

by Sudipta Sen • Yale University Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jerry Brotton • Reaktion Books • £9.99 (paperback)