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Abdulrazak Gurnah

Admiring Silence

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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.
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268 printed pages
Publication year
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  • Zurishared an impression2 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • Paulina Beltránhas quoted3 years ago
    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
  • Paulina Beltránhas quoted3 years ago
    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 quoted3 years ago
    He spoke with the care and modulation of someone who knew that people were listening

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