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by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Afterlives Synopsis

'One of Africa's greatest living writers' Giles Foden Restless, ambitious Ilyas was stolen from his parents by the Schutzruppe askari, the German colonial troops; after years away, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away. Hamza was not stolen, but was sold; he has come of age in the schutztruppe, at the right hand of an officer whose control has ensured his protection but marked him for life. The century is young. The Germans and the British and the French and the Belgians and whoever else have drawn their maps and signed their treaties and divided up Africa. As they seek complete dominion they are forced to extinguish revolt after revolt by the colonised. The conflict in Europe opens another arena in east Africa where a brutal war devastates the landscape. Hamza does not have words for how the war ended for him. Returning to the town of his childhood, all he wants is work, however humble, and security - and the beautiful Afiya. As these interlinked friends and survivors come and go, live and work and fall in love, the shadow of a new war lengthens and darkens, ready to snatch them up and carry them away.

Afterlives Press Reviews

Gurnah is a master storyteller -- Aminatta Forna * Financial Times * As beautifully written and pleasurable as anything I've read ... The work of a maestro * Guardian * An aural archive of a lost Africa ... alive with the unexpected. In it, an obliterated world is enthrallingly retrieved * Sunday Times * Rarely in a lifetime can you open a book and find that reading it encapsulates the enchanting qualities of a love affair ... one scarcely dares breathe while reading it for fear of breaking the enchantment * The Times * Many layered, violent, beautiful and strange ... a poetic and vividly conjured book about Africa and the brooding power of the unknown * Independent on Sunday * A powerfully evocative oeuvre that keeps coming back to the same questions, in spare, graceful prose, about the ties that bind and the ties that fray * Daily Telegraph *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781526615862
Publication date: 29th September 2020
Author: Abdulrazak Gurnah
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 288 pages
Categories: First World War fiction, Historical fiction, Historical romance, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Sagas, Second World War fiction, War & combat fiction,

About Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah is the author of nine novels: Memory of Departure, Pilgrims Way, Dottie, Paradise (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award), Admiring Silence, By the Sea (longlisted for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award), Desertion (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize) The Last Gift and Gravel Heart. He was Professor of English at the University of Kent, and was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2016. He lives in Canterbury.

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