Essay for the London Magazine on the books of Abdulrazak Gurnah

Posted: January 21, 2021 in articles

Book reviews are not usually part of my regular writing, but I could not resist the opportunity to write an essay on the works of Abdulrazak Gurnah pegged to the release of his new novel Afterlives.

Gurnah’s latest novel starts with new beginnings. A man begins a new job that will transform his life. Elsewhere, a young man drawn into military service on behalf of a colonial power returns home. The theme of dislocation and abandonment is one Gurnah returns to throughout his novels. Afterlives opens just before the First World War in German East Africa, what is now known as Tanzania. The novel follows characters through episodes of momentous upheavals and conflict: the defeat of German Imperialism, colonisation by the British, and Independence. The focus is on the impact of these events and of colonialism on individuals, how people can move on, come together and build a life and a family of choice.

Read the full article here.

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