A Mouth Full of Salt

Reem Gaafar


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Saqi Books
9 April 2024
ISBN: 9780863567728
272 pages

From the publisher

The Nile brought them life, but the Nile was not their friend.

A small farming village in North Sudan wakes up one morning to the news that a little boy has drowned. Soon after, the animals die of a mysterious illness and the date gardens catch fire and burn to the ground. The villagers whisper of a sorceress who dwells at the foot of the mountains. It is the dry season. The men have places to go, the women have work to do, the children play at the place where the river runs over its own banks. Sixteen-year-old Fatima yearns to leave the village for Khartoum.

In Khartoum, a single mother makes her way in a world that wants to keep girls and women back. As civil war swells, the political intrudes into the personal and her position in the capital becomes untenable. She must return to the village.

A Mouth Full of Salt uncovers a country on the brink of seismic change as its women decide for themselves which traditions are fit for purpose – and which prophecies it’s time to rewrite.