Desertion

by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Historical Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Desertion

A culture clash love, a turn-of-the-last-century scandal beautifully written as a semi-conscious English explorer is nursed by a spiky, argumentative Muslim.  It’s a dense, captivating read.

Similar this month: None.
Comparison: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, V S Naipaul, Paul Theroux.

Sarah Broadhurst

Desertion Synopsis

Early one morning in 1899, in a small town along the coast from Mombasa, Hassanali sets out for the mosque. But he never gets there, for out of the desert stumbles an ashen and exhausted Englishman who collapses at his feet. That man is Martin Pearce — writer, traveller and something of an Orientalist. After Pearce has recuperated, he visits Hassanali to thank him for his rescue and meets Hassanali’s sister Rehana; he is immediately captivated. In this crumbling town on the edge of civilised life, with the empire on the brink of a new century, a passionate love affair begins that brings two cultures together and which will reverberate through three generations and across continents.

Desertion Press Reviews

‘Rich in detail and filled with acute observations, this novel movingly examines the absences eating away at the core of all of its characters’ Sunday Telegraph

‘As beautifully written and pleasurable as anything I’ve read … Gurnah’s portrait is the work of a maestro’ Guardian

‘This is an impressive and deeply serious book, a careful and often heartfelt exploration of the way memory inevitably consoles and disappoints us’ Sunday Times

‘An absorbing novel about abandonment and loss … Gurnah writes beautifully, with the satisfying assurance of someone who knows how to achieve his effects without undue fuss but with absolute precision’ Daily Telegraph

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780747578956
Publication date: 01/05/2006
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780747578956
Publication date: 1st May 2006
Author: Abdulrazak Gurnah
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 272 pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in 1948 in Zanzibar and teaches at the University of Kent. He is the author of six novels which include Paradise, Admiring Silence and  By the Sea. Paradise was shortlisted for both the Booker and the Whitbread Prizes.Photograph © Mark Pringle 

More About Abdulrazak Gurnah

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