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Abdulrazak Gurnah

Teoksen Paratiisi tekijä

21+ teosta 2,416 jäsentä 100 arvostelua 10 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Abdulrazak Gurnah teaches at the University of Kent in England.
Image credit: © Mark Pringle


Tekijän teokset

Paratiisi (1994) 659 kappaletta, 27 arvostelua
Loppuelämät (2020) 472 kappaletta, 20 arvostelua
By the Sea (2001) 351 kappaletta, 11 arvostelua
Desertion (2005) 245 kappaletta, 11 arvostelua
Gravel Heart (2017) 212 kappaletta, 14 arvostelua
The Last Gift (2011) 157 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
Admiring Silence (1996) 103 kappaletta, 6 arvostelua
Memory of Departure (1987) 80 kappaletta, 5 arvostelua
Pilgrims Way (1988) 54 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Dottie (1990) 46 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
The Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie (2007) — Toimittaja — 14 kappaletta
Map Reading (2022) 7 kappaletta
Essays on African Writing 2: Contemporary Literature (1995) — Toimittaja — 3 kappaletta
Aan zee (2024) 3 kappaletta
Aan zee roman 3 kappaletta
Essays on African Writing 1: A Re-Evaluation (1993) — Toimittaja — 2 kappaletta
Paraíso 1 kappale
Ved havet : roman (2023) 1 kappale
Abandon (2022) 1 kappale
Voci in fuga (2022) 1 kappale

Associated Works

Nisun jyvä (1967) — Johdanto, eräät painokset951 kappaletta, 19 arvostelua
The Art of the Story: An International Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories (1999) — Avustaja — 353 kappaletta, 6 arvostelua
African Short Stories (1985) — Avustaja — 147 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
The Granta Book of the African Short Story (2011) — Avustaja — 95 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories (1992) — Avustaja — 57 kappaletta
The Anchor Book of Modern African Stories (2002) — Avustaja — 54 kappaletta
Refugee Tales (2016) — Avustaja — 36 kappaletta
An African Quilt: 24 Modern African Stories (2012) — Avustaja — 17 kappaletta
Refugee Tales: Volume III (2019) — Avustaja — 7 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




This touching story of an immigrant from Zanzibar to London is told in his own melancholy voice. When Salim's father left home with no explanation, his world imploded. His mother provided no explanation but continued to make his Baba's lunch every day, with Salim as the delivery boy. Eventually Baba returned to Kuala Lampur and Salim's uncle Amir funded his relocation to London and his school fees, until Samir decides to major in literature and drop his business courses and Amir cuts him off. Salim puts off visiting his home and his mother for years, until he has improved his financial situation, and by the time he travels, his mother has died and he reunites with Baba. The last third of the book is Baba's story of why he left his home and family, Amir's role, and it's incredibly painful. The writing is tender, sensitive, and memorable.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
froxgirl | 13 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 13, 2024 |
A coming-of-age story (and Gurnah’s first novel), the first half of which takes place amid the poverty, violence, and despair of coastal East Africa in the early 1960s. Hassan, despite moments of promise and a fundamental “goodness,” seems doomed: his family exists at a subsistence level, the family itself is dysfunctional (to put it mildly), Hassan and his mother are both subject to physical and psychological abuse from his father. Gurnah has drawn a convincing portrait of hopelessness, Hassan has but one chance: go to Nairobi and ask for the money his uncle owes his mother. His academic promise thwarted by government corruption, this is his—and his family’s—only chance. Unsurprisingly, once there he discovers a larger world but that world is no more free of cruelty and hopelessness. Hassan eventually learns that money solves few real problems, it only seems to. And yet Hassan is determined to wrest some kind of hope from this new world. I was a bit troubled by some of the writing: once he meets his uncle and his cousin in Nairobi, the book’s style changes. Hassan suddenly begins to analyze every word spoken: why did he say that? Did she say this because she is thinking that? Or is she thinking something else? Although his motivation is believable, Gurnah’s reliance on this stylistic tic becomes intrusive; I cannot recall another of Gurnah’s works where he plays this game. In the end the character (and certainly the reader) can never know what prompts anyone’s word choice and phrasing. By the time the backstory is disclosed, the psychologizing is irrelevant. As with most of his books, the message is readily visible…perhaps too readily. The buried family secret. Hassan's rite of passage. His departure from Nairobi and the epilogue. Gurnah writes (as always) about Africa’s struggle to shed its colonial skin. The obstacles are as oppressing as they are inescapable but only by constructing a new identity can Hassan—and Africa—move forward. And yet Gurnah is so good a writer that the story and its telling are captivating enough to capture the reader. Good...but a middling work among his many.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Gypsy_Boy | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 9, 2024 |
Like any good historical novel, Afterlives presents a living picture of a specific time and place, which the reader views through the eyes of contemporary participants. In the early 20th century in the part of Africa that is now Tanzania, German colonial rule was under attack by native tribes rebelling against efforts to force them to grow cotton for export. Although Germany had never had the "hearts and minds" of local populations, the uprisings were doomed because, widespread as the unrest was, it was never co-ordinated, and stood no chance against German organization and weaponry. Many young African men joined local mercenary units, known as Askari, for the usual variety of reasons. We learn what life was like for one of those men, Hamza, both during his service and after his traumatic separation from his unit following brutal abuse by a commanding officer. We are also introduced to Ilyas, who was kidnapped as a child by an Askari group, and taken away to be educated in a German school. Later on, Ilyas learns he has an orphaned little sister he did not know about, and for a time he becomes her protector, eventually leaving her in the care of others when he goes off to fight for the Germans as World War I breaks out. The heart and soul of this novel concerns the "afterlives" of Hamza, and of Ilyas' little sister Afiya, both of whom have suffered physical and psychological traumas. Their love story comprises the third of four sections of the novel, and is the strongest, most engaging of them all. Afiya's yearning to know what became of her brother, who was never heard from after he went off to war, is passed on to her son, who eventually solves the puzzle, some 40 years later, as revealed in the novel's abrupt and somewhat disappointing ending. This could easily have been a 5 star read for me, but parts of the early sections were repetitious and boggy, for which I subtracted a half star; the ending took away another half, still leaving me with a solid 4 star experience, and the intention of reading more of Gurnah's work.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
laytonwoman3rd | 19 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 16, 2024 |
This novel is published by Nobel prize-winning author Abdulrazak Gurnah. It is the story of a man who emigrated from Zanzibar to England a few years after the post-independence revolution, then his life as an immigrant in England and his return visit to Zanzibar.

I read this book as part of my Read Around the World challenge. As such I like to find out a little about each place. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous state off the east coast of Africa, part of Tanzania since 1964, and famously, part of the Spice Islands. It was originally settled by Bantu speakers then became a Swahili trading post. It was a hub for Persian, Indian and Arab traders, then became a Portuguese colony soon after Vasco da Gama's visit in 1498. This then gave way to rulership by the Sultanate of Oman in 1698 and Zanzibar became a major slave post, moving Africans as slaves to the Middle East. The sultans were eventually forced to cease the slave trade by the British and Zanzibar became a British protectorate from 1890 until 1963. In 1964 the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Sultan and killed over 20,000 people, mainly Arabs and Indians. There was then a merger with Tanganyika creating Tanzania, within which Zanzibar remains an autonomous region. Today Zanzibari is inhabited by mainly ethnicity Swahili and is predominantly Muslim. There are smaller populations of Arabs, Persians, Somalis and Indians.

In the novel the man meets and falls in love with an Englishwoman, Emma, and they have a daughter together. Over the years he deals with her middle-class conservative and racist British father by telling him elaborate and nostalgic stories about his life under the British empire. The stories about his life he tells Emma also emphasise the exotic and stretch the truth. He also lies by omission to his own family in Zanzibar, never mentioning his English family. Twenty years later when a new government makes his return home possible, he goes back to Zanzibar and finds his family wanting to marry him off. He finds himself confronted by the poverty and corruption around him.

“These things matter, although there is no gainsaying postcolonial reality. It was not just littered beaches that made me lament, not just mis-remembering what seemed a more orderly way of conducting our affairs than the reckless self-indulgence of our wordy times, when we can chat away every oppression and every dereliction, not just a nostalgia for the authoritarian order of Empire which can make light of contradictions by issuing dictats and sanitation decrees, but because as I wandered over the rubble of the damaged town I felt like a refugee from my life. The transformations of things I had known and places which I had lived with differently in my mind for years seemed like an expulsion from my past.”

He views things around him with a cynicism, but also wry humour. “In the meantime, the moneybags who rule our world can continue with the anguished business of watching our antics on TV, and reading about our ineptitudes and murders in their newspapers, secure in the knowledge that a small donation here to fund a translation project and a modest shipment of arms there will keep the plague in the thirsty borderlands of their globe and away from their doors.” Blocked toilets seem to become a metaphor to him for all that is wrong in post colonial Zanzibar. Overall, this is a well written and thought provoking book, however not overly enjoyable as a reader. You feel both empathy and frustration at the man. The difficulty with an unreliable narrator is you are not entirely certain when to believe him. Ultimately he finds himself unable to feel any sense of belonging to either country, his former home or his new home. Like many prize-winning books the writing is better than the story.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
mimbza | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 27, 2024 |



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