Thirteen Months of Sunrise

Format: Paperback
Book type: Short Story Collection
ISBN-13: 9781910974391
Published: 09 May 2019


RRP: £9.99

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A young woman sits by her father’s deathbed, lamenting her failure to keep a promise to him…

A struggling writer walks every inch of the city in search of inspiration, only to find it is much closer than she imagined…

A girl collapses from hunger at the side of the road and is rescued by the most unlikely of saviours...

In this powerful, debut collection of stories, Rania Mamoun expertly blends the real and imagined to create a rich, complex and moving portrait of contemporary Sudan. From painful encounters with loved ones to unexpected new friendships, Mamoun illuminates the breadth of human experience and explores, with humour and compassion, the alienation, isolation and estrangement that is urban life.

Translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette.

WINNER of a PEN Translates Award.


SHORTLISTED for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation 2020 - coverage of the prize on The Bookseller and ArabLit.

One of World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2019.

One of The Guardian's 'Top 10 books about Sudan'

One of Bustle's '25 New Short Story Collections To Read This Summer' 

One of Bookshy Book's 'Ten-Plus Short Story Collections from Writers of African Origin'  

One of African Argument's 'The best books by African writers in 2019 so far...'

One of The National's translated works by women for Women in Translation Month.

Praise for the collection

'It is a phenomenal, exacting collection. It's intense and intimate, and always bordering, with absolute control, on the subversive and erotic. It's also very funny - Rania Mamoun is an extraordinary talent.'- Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young

‘A stunning collection, remarkable for its sweet clarity of voice and startling depictions of the marginalised and the destitute. With mastery, Rania Mamoun reaches straight into the heartbeat of her subject matter, laying bare humanity in all its tenderness and tenacity.’ – Leila Aboulela, author of Elsewhere Home

'Set in Khartoum, this debut collection in English by Rania Mamoun is one of my favourite books of recent years. Her narrative skill creates space for us to observe the characters, and her non-judgmental depiction of Life and lives is filled with humanity.' - Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul 

'I am awestruck.' - Samira Sawlani 

'These stories—possibly the first collection by a Sudanese woman to be fully translated into English—offer an emotionally intimate look at urban life and alienation, while demonstrating an impressive range of literary styles, from realist to reality-bending.' - Judges’ citation for the 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants

'Mamoun’s writing is very careful... Perhaps hers is a care that becomes second nature when living under the threat of government censorship, intimidation and the limits on press freedom that exist in Sudan.' - The Johannesburg Review of Books

'The sun is rising on this exciting writer whose works are finally making it into the English language. It shows no sign of setting any time soon.' - Manchester Review of Books

'Mamoun writes with a sparse clarity, eschewing melodrama: if her narrator here lives a lifetime in a moment, so Mamoun herself writes a life in just a few pages... and offers a rich fresco of life that is at once deeply embedded in her culture and universally recognisable.' - Translating Women
Watch TW's video on 'alternative love stories.

'Thirteen Months of Sunrise will have you witnessing everything from fleeting love, bonded by shared knowledge and culture, to death and those things left unsaid. Like these stories, life, and that of those around you, is fleeting and must be cherished.' - Books and Bao 

'The beauty of Mamoun's storytelling is that while the pieces are short and relatively quick reads, they pull you into the narrative...' - The New Arab

'The clarity of writing raises unforgettable images, testimony not only to the author's skills but those of her translator...' - Sudan Studies (Issue 61)

'Mamoun’s writing evokes the gentle courage of her Sudanese characters, and an awareness of their strength, humour and the difficulties they encounter in their day-to-day lives. Her beautiful, simplistic, yet at times mesmerising writing is threaded with powerful emotions.' - Sally Shaw for Everybody's Reviewing 

'Thirteen Months of Sunrise invites the reader to luxuriate; to immerse themselves in a plethora of emotions, whetting the appetite for more of Mamoun’s writing, and to learn about modern day Sudan at such a crucial stage in its history.' - The Culture Vulture

'Mamoun’s beautiful, figurative language has a humane, life-affirming effect.' - Literary Noise

'The compassion and close observation of the poorest and most desperate people in society is something I admired throughout the collection... Rania Mamoun’s writing is insightful, funny, and wholehearted in its exploration of life.' - Sabotage Reviews

'These stories are atmospheric, intimate and dignified portraits of people struggling on the edges. They are compassionate but not over earnest, rooted in a specific culture but describing universally recognisable themes and emotions.' - STORGY 

'Dreamlike and richly evocative tales of human - and nonhuman - connection in modern-day Sudan.' - The Short Story

'Here is the deep love of a woman for her country and she writes about it with a complete understanding.' - Heavenali

'It felt like walking the streets of Sudan and getting a snippet of the story of each person I passed by.' - @sofia_reading (Instagram) 

'Warm yet melancholy, these stories paint a vivid and moving picture of contemporary Sudanese society and the people relegated to its margins [...] it's dreamy, imaginative and full of depth.' - @aishathebibliophile (Instagram)


Read 'A Woman Asleep on Her Bundle' at For Book's Sake 

Interview with Rania Mamoun and Elisabeth Jaquette on Qantara 


A Literary Playlist to accompany TMOS on the ArabLit blog

Listen to the podcast recording of our Borderless Book Club session with translator Lissie Jaquette.
Read Alice Banks' summary of our Borderless Book Club session.