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By Isma’il Kushkush

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates — WHEN Leila Aboulela arrived at the international book fair here recently, the conference room was packed to capacity with dozens of eager listeners. After she finished reading a passage from her award-winning novel, “Lyrics Alley,” the torrent of questions — some in English, others in Arabic — began.

“Why do you write in English?” one person asked.

“Why not visit Sudan and write about contemporary issues rather than the Sudan of your childhood?” another wanted to know. [Read more…]