Sammar is a young Sudanese widow, working as an Arabic translator at a British university.
Following the sudden death of her husband, and estranged from her young son, she drifts, grieving and isolated.
Life takes a positive turn when she finds herself falling in love with Rae, a Scottish academic.
To Sammar, he seems to come from another world and another culture, yet they are drawn to each other. "The Translator" is a story about love, both human and divine.
Leila Aboulela's first novel, first published in 1999, was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and was shortlisted for the Saltire Prize.
It has subsequently appeared in editions worldwide.