Partition pain

Sudanese history & culture are woven together in Stella Gaitano’s novel, ‘Edo’s Souls’

By Olivia Snaije

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Posted on April 21, 2023 09:29

The partition of Sudan in 2011, once the largest country on the African continent, was a landmark event for Sudan and South Sudan. Now it’s possible to delve into post-colonial Sudan and the backstory that led to so much violence, tragedy, hope, and all the grey areas in between, thanks to Stella Gaitano’s historical novel Edo’s Souls, out next month in English.

The novel won a PEN Translates award in 2020 and was translated from Arabic by Sawad Hussain.

Gaitano was born in Khartoum, to parents originally from southern Sudan, who had taken refuge in the city during Sudan’s civil war in the 1960s. She spoke her family’s Latuka language at home, Sudanese Arabic with her friends, and was educated in classical Arabic and later in English at university.

Her parents were illiterate, but they encouraged Gaitano and her siblings to go to school.

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