Top Sudan writer dies

Al-Tayeb Saleh, one of the Arab world's top novelists, who excelled at portraying characters torn between East and West, died on Wednesday in London, Sudan's official news agency said.

Saleh, 80, was born in 1929 in the northern Sudanese town of Marawi to a poor family and was educated first in Islamic schools and then later British institutions.

He left the country to pursue graduate studies in the UK and went on to live in various European and Arab capitals, rarely returning home.

Saleh's works reflected the Arab and African quest for identity, especially in the 1960s - the years which were marked by the end of colonialism and the rise of nationalism across the region.

Saleh wrote, among others, The Cypriot Man and The Wedding of Zein, which was turned into a film and won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976.

Saleh's body will arrive in Khartoum today for burial. He is survived by his wife and three daughters. - Sapa-AP