Tayeb Salih published Season of Migration to the North in 1966; ten years after Sudan received its independence from the British Empire on January 1, 1956. The novel is heavily influenced by the tumultuous politics of the period. (Lind and Wang) The 1950s and 1960s saw many African countries achieve independence, some through bloody revolutions, and others through peaceful diplomacy. (Lind and Wang) Initially there was much hope that Sudan would use the infrastructure developed by their European occupiers to turn their nations into prosperous, democratic havens for their long-oppressed citizens. (Lind and Wang)
Salih wrote Season of Migration to the North with an international audience in mind, and worked closely with his English translator, Denys Johnson-Davies, on translating bits and pieces of the novel before he even finished. (Lind and Wang) Salih was equally fluent in English and Arabic, but felt obliged to write in Arabic as an expression of his national identity. The novel received critical acclaim across the globe upon its release, and has been translated into 30 languages. (Lind and Wang) The novel, along with Salih's other work (much of which remains un-translated) was popular as well among Arab audiences. However, it was banned in Sudan starting in 1989, although this was not because of the novel's politics but rather due to its graphic sexual content, which offended the Islamic government. (Lind and Wang) However, it is now widely available in Salih's home country, and he is revered as a founding father of Sudanese literature.
Joseph Conrad did not begin to learn English until he was twenty-one years old. He traveled to Marseilles when he was seventeen and spent the next twenty years as a sailor. He signed on to an English ship in 1878, and eight years later he became a British subject.
In 1890, Joseph Conrad secured employment in the Congo as the captain of a river steamboat; this was also the approximate year in which the main action of Heart of...