By the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature
'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.