Best Selling Books by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah is the author of Paradise (1995), Gravel Heart (2017), Memory of Departure (2016), The Last Gift (2014), Afterlives (2021) and other 15 books.

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20 results found

Paradise

release date: Jan 01, 1995
Paradise
Shortlisted for the 1994 Booker and Whitbread Prizes, this book is set in the decade before World War I, in the garden of a merchant's house on the coast of East Africa. Yusuf is 12 when he is sold into the service of the rich, perfumed merchant whom he has always known as uncle Aziz.

Gravel Heart

release date: May 04, 2017
Gravel Heart
By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 'The elegance and control of Gurnah's writing, and his understanding of how quietly and slowly and repeatedly a heart can break, make this a deeply rewarding novel' Kamila Shamsie, Guardian For seven-year-old Salim, the pillars upholding his small universe – his indifferent father, his adored uncle, his treasured books, the daily routines of government school and Koran lessons – seem unshakeable. But it is the 1970s, and the winds of change are blowing through Zanzibar: suddenly Salim's father is gone, and the island convulses with violence and corruption the wake of a revolution. It will only be years later, making his way through an alien and hostile London, that Salim will begin to understand the shame and exploitation festering at the heart of his family's history. 'Riveting ... The measured elegance of Gurnah's prose renders his protagonist in a manner almost uncannily real' New York Times 'Glittering ... Each work is different from the last, yet they build into a powerfully evocative oeuvre that keeps coming back to the same questions, in spare, graceful prose, about the ties that bind and the ties that fray' Telegraph 'A colourful tale of life in a Zanzibar village, where passions and politics reshape a family... Powerful' Mail on Sunday

Memory of Departure

release date: Dec 15, 2016
Memory of Departure
**By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021** Vehement, comic and shrewd, Abdulrazak Gurnah's first novel is an unwavering contemplation of East African coastal life Poverty and depravity wreak havoc on Hassan Omar's family. Amid great hardship he decides to escape. The arrival of Independence brings new upheavals as well as the betrayal of the promise of freedom. The new government, fearful of an exodus of its most able men, discourages young people from travelling abroad and refuses to release examination results. Deprived of a scholarship, Hassan travels to Nairobi to stay with a wealthy uncle, in the hope that he will release his mother's rightful share of the family inheritance. The collision of past secrets and future hopes, the compound of fear and frustration, beauty and brutality, create a fierce tale of undeniable power.

The Last Gift

release date: Feb 11, 2014
The Last Gift
One day, long before the troubles, he slipped away without saying a word to anyone and never went back. And then another day, forty-three years later, he collapsed just inside the front door of his house in a small English town. It was late in the day when it happened, on his way home after work, but it was also late in the day altogether. He had left things for too long and there was no one to blame for it but himself. Abbas has never told anyone about his past-before he was a sailor on the high seas, before he met his wife Maryam outside a Boots in Exeter, before they settled into a quiet life in Norwich with their children, Jamal and Hanna. Now, at the age of sixty-three, he suffers a collapse that renders him bedbound and unable to speak about things he thought he would one day have to. Jamal and Hanna have grown up and gone out into the world. They were both born in England but cannot shake a sense of apartness. Hanna calls herself Anna now, and has just moved to a new city to be near her boyfriend. She feels the relationship is headed somewhere serious, but the words have not yet been spoken out loud. Jamal, the listener of the family, moves into a student house and is captivated by a young woman with dark-blue eyes and her own, complex story to tell. Abbas's illness forces both children home, to the dark silences of their father and the fretful capability of their mother Maryam, who began life as a foundling and has never thought to find herself, until now.

By the Sea

release date: Jan 01, 2002
By the Sea
On a late November afternoon Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport from Zanzibar, a far away island in the Indian Ocean. With him he has a small bag in which there lies his most precious possession - a mahogany box containing incense. He used to own a furniture shop, have a house and be a husband and father. Now he is an asylum seeker from paradise; silence his only protection. Meanwhile Latif Mahmud, someone intimately connected with Saleh's past, lives quietly alone in his London flat. When Saleh and Latif meet in an English seaside town, a story is unravelled. It is a story of love and betrayal, of seduction and of possession, and of a people desperately trying to find stability amidst the maelstrom of their times.

Dottie

release date: Dec 15, 2016
Dottie
By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 A searing tale of a young woman discovering her troubled family history and cultural past Dottie Badoura Fatma Balfour finds solace amidst the squalor of her childhood by spinning warm tales of affection about her beautiful names. But she knows nothing of their origins, and little of her family history – or the abuse her ancestors suffered as they made their home in Britain. At seventeen, she takes on the burden of responsibility for her brother and sister and is obsessed with keeping the family together. However, as Sophie, lumpen yet voluptuous, drifts away, and the confused Hudson is absorbed into the world of crime, Dottie is forced to consider her own needs. Building on her fragmented, tantalising memories, she begins to clear a path through life, gradually gathering the confidence to take risks, to forge friendships and to challenge the labels that have been forced upon her.

Desertion

release date: Jan 01, 2005
Desertion
An 1899 love affair between Orientalist Martin Pearce and Rehana, the sister of the man who rescued him from an African desert, has implications in 1950s Zanzibar as Rehana's granddaughter is caught up in another forbidden affair.

Reading the 'new' Literatures in a Postcolonial Era

release date: Jan 01, 2000
Reading the 'new' Literatures in a Postcolonial Era
Essays on the contribution of African, Caribbean, Asian and diaspora writers to 'English' literature.

Pilgrims Way

release date: Dec 15, 2016
Pilgrims Way
**By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021** An extraordinary depiction of the life of an immigrant, as he struggles to come to terms with the horror of his past and the meaning of his pilgrimage to England Dear Catherine, he began. Here I sit, making a meal out of asking you to dinner. I don't really know how to do it. To have cultural integrity, I would have to send my aunt to speak, discreetly, to your aunt, who would then speak to your mother, who would speak to my mother, who would speak to my father, who would speak to me and then approach your mother, who would then approach you. Demoralised by small persecutions and the squalor and poverty of his life, Daud takes refuge in his imagination. He composes wry, sardonic letters hectoring friends and enemies, and invents a lurid colonial past for every old man he encounters. His greatest solace is cricket and the symbolic defeat of the empire at the hands of the mighty West Indies. Although subject to attacks of bitterness and remorse, his captivating sense of humour never deserts him as he struggles to come to terms with the horror of his past and the meaning of his pilgrimage to England.

Admiring Silence

release date: Dec 15, 2016
Admiring Silence
**By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021** 'There is a wonderful sardonic eloquence to this unnamed narrator's voice' Financial Times 'I don't think I've ever read a novel that is so convincingly and hauntingly sad about the loss of home' Independent on Sunday _____________________ He thinks, as he escapes from Zanzibar, that he will probably never return, and yet the dream of studying in England matters above that. Things do not happen quite as he imagined – the school where he teaches is cramped and violent, he forgets how it feels to belong. But there is Emma, beautiful, rebellious Emma, who turns away from her white, middle-class roots to offer him love and bear him a child. And in return he spins stories of his home and keeps her a secret from his family. Twenty years later, when the barriers at last come down in Zanzibar, he is able and compelled to go back. What he discovers there, in a story potent with truth, will change the entire vision of his life.

Refugee Tales: Volume III

release date: Jun 27, 2019
Refugee Tales: Volume III
With nationalism and the far right on the rise across Europe and North America, there has never been a more important moment to face up to what we, in Britain, are doing to those who seek sanctuary. Still the UK detains people indefinitely under immigration rules. Bail hearings go unrecorded, people are picked up without notice, individuals feel abandoned in detention centres with no way of knowing when they will be released. In Refugee Tales III we read the stories of people who have been through this process, many of whom have yet to see their cases resolved and who live in fear that at any moment they might be detained again. Poets, novelists and writers have once again collaborated with people who have experienced detention, their tales appearing alongside first-hand accounts by people who themselves have been detained. What we hear in these stories are the realities of the hostile environment, the human costs of a system that disregards rights, that denies freedoms and suspends lives. ‘We hear so many of the wrong words about refugees – ugly, limiting, unimaginative words – that it feels like a gift to find here so many of the right words which allow us to better understand the lives around us, and our own lives too.’ – Kamila Shamsie All profits go to the Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group and Kent Help for Refugees.

Narratives of Cohesion

release date: Jan 01, 1992

African Rhapsody

release date: Jan 01, 1994
African Rhapsody
An anthology of twenty-five short stories by the very best emerging and award-winning contemporary African writers illuminates modern-day concerns and realities of African life and features the writing of Ben Okri, Chinua Achebe, and others. Original.

A Grain of Wheat

release date: Jan 01, 2002
A Grain of Wheat
A masterly story of myth, rebellion, love, friendship and betrayal from one of Africa's great writers, Ngugi wa Thiong'o's A Grain of Wheat includes an introduction by Abdulrazak Gurnah, author of By the Sea, in Penguin Modern Classics. It is 1963 and Kenya is on the verge of Uhuru - Independence Day. The mighty british government has been toppled, and in the lull between the fighting and the new world, colonized and colonizer alike reflect on what they have gained and lost. In the village of Thabai, the men and women who live there have been transformed irrevocably by the uprising. Kihika, legendary rebel leader, was fatally betrayed to the whiteman. Gikonyo's marriage to the beautiful Mumbi was destroyed when he was imprisoned, while her life has been shattered in other ways. And Mugo, brave survivor of the camps and now a village hero, harbours a terrible secret. As events unfold, compromises are forced, friendships are betrayed and loves are tested. Kenyan novelist and playwright Ngugi wa Thiong'o is the author of Weep Not Child (1964), The River Between (1965), and Petals of Blood (1977). Ngugi was chair of the Department of Literature at the University of Nairobi from 1972 to 1977. He left Kenya in 1982 and taught at various universities in the United States before he became professor of comparative literature and performance studies at New York University in 1992. If you enjoyed A Grain of Wheat, you might like Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'With Ngugi history is a living tissue ... this book adds cubits to his already considerable stature'Guardian

The Collected Stories of Abdulrazak Gurnah

release date: Jan 01, 2004

Essays on African Writing 2

release date: May 01, 1995

Outrage and Political Choice in Nigeria

release date: Jan 01, 1994
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