The Black Peacock

Hamed al-Nazir

The story begins with the enigmatic government advisor Taj al-Din, one of the leaders in the Islamic movement who wields power behind the scenes, and offers an in-depth look at modern Sudanese history, in a long period spanning from the 1970s and the rule of Gaafar Nimeiry, to the turn of the 21st century. The whirlwind of events of this period changed the political destiny of the country. The title of the novel is a reference to its hero Adam, who is thirteen years old when he spends time in juvenile prison for killing his mother, her husband and step-brother. At this point, the regime, which sees his tendency towards violence, realises he can be of use to them. He is groomed for many years before the Islamists come to power. The novel presents him both as criminal and victim who is exploited and falls into the trap of violence. Through a game of masks in the novel, Adam becomes numerous different characters, Taj al-Din being one of them. 




2018 Longlist