bookmate game

Abdulrazak Gurnah

    Reina Azúcarhas quotedlast year
    The dogs had known a shit-eater when they saw one.
    Jacob Ulrichhas quotedlast year
    I stumble about in this sullen thicket, hoping that I will bump into the moment of release.
    Paulina Beltránhas quotedlast year
    I don’t think she did it to be cruel. It was just that she liked to win her arguments, and not always without charm
    Paulina Beltránhas quotedlast year
    in time he would become respectably poor and increasingly pedantic, the way teachers did
    Paulina Beltránhas quotedlast year
    He spoke with the care and modulation of someone who knew that people were listening
    Paulina Beltránhas quotedlast year
    There were stories, in the first place, stories to fill the hours and the mind in the contest with life, to lift the ordinary into metaphor, to make it seem that the time of my passing was a choice in my hands, that there was method in the manner of my coming and my going. That is what stories can do, they can push the feeble disorders we live with out of sight
    Paulina Beltránhas quotedlast year
    Living among strangers for such a time, I had long ago lost that casual assurance, that ability to lean back comfortably, scratch my moustache and chat
    Juan Eduardo Mateos Floreshas quotedlast year
    What could be so wrong with the world when God awaited us all with his Hell and his Heaven and his legion of torturers?
    Juan Eduardo Mateos Floreshas quotedlast year
    When I woke up, my father was leaning against her bed. The door was open, and the hurricane lamp that was left burning in the hallway through the night, lit up part of the room. I could not see him clearly, and I wish I never had. The bed was behind the shadow of the door. He smelt drunk. He tried to hide his drinking from us because he was ashamed of it. I saw him holding my mother’s wrist and whispering. It was the first time I had seen him touch her like that. Suddenly he straightened, then leaned forward and hit her. He started whispering again, more loudly this time.

    ‘You’re trying to keep me out. Because of him! What good is he anyway? Oh my mother, why do you want to annoy me?’

    My mother tried to hush him, and I saw her hand reach out for his face. He brushed her hand away and leaned back.

    ‘Why do you have to bring him here?’ he asked in a voice I did not know, appealing to her. ‘You’re trying to keep me out . . . for that dirty little murderer. What do you take me for, you snivelling bitch?’

    He struck her again, and again, grunting heavily. And again. He struggled onto the bed and pulled away the kanga she was wearing around her. My mother did not struggle and did not speak. She groaned, it seemed involuntarily, every now and again. I shut my eyes tightly and I heard his body moving on top of her. I heard him groaning and muttering, his voice coming thick and muffled off the bed. My grandmother’s door opened. My father paused, head raised as if waiting for her approach. Then he chuckled.

    ‘Come and see, my old woman,’ he called. ‘Come and watch me killing her.’

    Then he began again, whispering and muttering, and fucking her. After a while there was silence. I heard him sobbing. I heard him lifting himself up, and through my tears I saw him leaning over me. Get out, he said. I struggled on all fours out of the room. My grandmother was standing outside in the hallway. I started to crawl towards her, feeling weak and feeble from the fever. Slowly she turned and went to her room and closed the door behind her. I heard the bolt gently slide home. I spent the night curled up outside my grandmother’s door.

    I could only feel terror and loathing for the world they had brought me into.
    Juan Eduardo Mateos Floreshas quotedlast year
    ‘What chance have you got if you stay here?’ my teacher asked me. ‘The best you’ll do will be a job in a bank, or become a teacher. Unless you have powerful relatives I don’t know about.

    ‘There is no dishonour in becoming a bank clerk. It is all rizki, the bounty of God, but it is not what the country needs. We need engineers, doctors, graduates. We don’t need philosophers and story-tellers but forestry officers, scientists and veterinary surgeons. Culture is for the rich. Culture is decadence. Look at Rome. Look at Persia. Look at Baghdad, look at Cairo. What did culture bring them but ruin?’

    He taught us English literature, and was often moved into long harangues on the destructive ignorance of European arrogance. ‘Chemistry, algebra, astronomy . . . all these were things that Muslims taught to the backward Europeans. But then the Muslims gave up the discipline of the desert. They wanted banquets and festivals and luxury. Their enemies soon destroyed them, because they knew in their barbarian hearts that culture is decadence. So don’t worry your head with this Shakespeare. A lot of people say he didn’t even exist anyway, or that if he did, he was an eastern sage whose work was translated into English. You know what these Europeans are like.
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